It all started as a foreign virus that was just a topic on our daily news stations. Never would we have thought it would impact our nation, community, and now our personal lives the way that it has.
The Corona Virus has changed our perspectives on working remotely as a team at Varay and has highlighted some of the office luxuries that we took for granted. Here is our work-from-home story, describing some of the hurdles we have overcome and continue to work through during this quarantine.
Preparation is key
If something can go wrong, it will.
With this in mind, we conducted a company-wide work-from-home dress rehearsal weeks prior, anticipating that we were going to be working remotely sometime soon. Doing this live drill helped us identify softphone gaps and data accessibility issues beforehand. We recommend you conduct a simulation as well if you haven't gone remote already.
This is not a drill
March 30th, 2020, was the day we received word as a company that we were going to be working from home. Some of us filled with joy, some of us putting together a mental hardware checklist and the rest just in shock of everything that has occurred. Despite the shock, our prior week's preparation was about to take center stage.
What we packed
Even though we ran a simulation, we took home more hardware home, knowing that we wouldn't be back anytime soon. Here are some of the hardware most of us took home:
- Monitors - it isn't fun working off a small laptop screen
- Docking stations - we realized how less we can connect straight from our laptops.
- Mounted cameras - These tend to have a better microphone than laptops, which is essential for video conferencing.
- Power Strips - Docks, monitors, cell phone charger yep these are essential.
- Cables - Don't second guess if you have these unless you want to Amazon Prime wait for it if you don't.
Adapting to new office space and co-workers
Our new "custom" office setups we're to our liking and ready to go... in our minds. A few of us forgot about our WFH co-workers (kids and family members). What did this mean? Some of us had to get creative with our home office blueprints to include a homeschooling department and a spouse executive suite. Others realized that our new work-from-home set up didn't have the bandwidth or WiFi infrastructure to support multiple work-from-home users. We adapted our home network infrastructure and got onto our first week of remote work.
- Whatever you can take home from the office, take it. We learned that making your WFH office space as close to your actual office space helps with the transition. Docking stations, cameras, and power-strips were some of our most help full take-homes.
- Have a checklist or how-to in place for team members who are not tech-savvy to help set up hardware.
- Having a quiet place for video chats and phone calls is essential.
- If on a video chat, make sure your background is just as on cue as your appearance.