Overnight the normal we've known for so long saw a dramatic change.
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation we were all ordered to abide by these new rules. This saw schools close, restaurants and cinemas shut, retail parks left empty, office buildings standing alone and call centre chatter silent. Overnight we were challenged to find a new way to work, from the comfort of our own homes.
Working from home is not a new concept to everyone but a big change none the less. Millions of people are now facing the balancing act of continuing to stay as normal and connected as possible whilst homeschooling their children.
While some businesses and employees have made the transition to working from home with ease the same cannot be said for all of them. The nature of their jobs can present its own difficulties and companies are taking the time to navigate these issues, such as dispensing laptops and tablets to keep everyone linked and united. Software like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and voice over IP phone solutions are connecting people in their own way, continually transforming the way businesses communicate.
So how does it work?
If you're office based you simply take the work you were doing in the office and do the exact same thing at home. It seems simple when you say it doesn't it? Many businesses have their employees kitted out with laptops which enables them to work flexibly, at their office desk, in a meeting room or at home to cut down on commuting. Your business can run as it always has, just from several different locations while helping your employees feel accommodated. If you were lucky enough to have had all of this in place before the pandemic hit then the changes incurred would have been easy, including conference calls with your team and call handling from existing and potential customers.
Whilst companies attempt to settle into a new normal have a think, could the way your company operates its working from home strategy be improved? Was your business ready for the COVID outbreak? Is communication from business phone lines compromised?
While your environment may have changed for the time being we've a few easy tips to help make working from home a little bit easier.
Find a quiet place to set-up your work space. This could be a study or home office if you have one or maybe the dining room table where you can put your notebooks and paperwork within easy reach. Being able to concentrate will help your productivity.
Take regular breaks as you normally would in the office. Take your lunch break and a few coffee breaks too. Screen time should still be regulated, try not to spend hours on end in front of the laptop screen, you may be used to a bigger screen in the office but your eyes need a rest.
Keep your work life and home life separate. Just as you would leave the office at 5pm, shut down and close your laptop/workspace making the end of your day clear. Move on to something different like checking kids homework or taking up a relaxing hobby.
Have clear company communication channels. Being able to interact and communicate with your colleagues and your customers will help retain business continuity. Your calls can be forwarded to your computer or work phone. Customers can call the same number without any confusion to whether your business is in operation.
Engaging these tips will help add a little structure to your day and keep a nice healthy balance to your work and home life.
Conferencing tools like Zoom and Teams are useful for face to face interactions in place of usual meetings. A cloud-based voice over IP (VoIP) phone solution can help your employees communicate like they would in their previous working environment reducing physical limitations. They can call colleagues on direct internal extensions and they can view and operate customer call queues to direct people to the relevant department they need, all from the comfort of their home office. Flexibility is the key to keeping business moving in these difficult times and in the future. With a VoIP phone solution you can manage, collect and store calls providing you with a full reliable audit trail at all times.
As times are changing before our eyes think about how you could better equip your business to deal with the obstacles ahead with our cost-effective VoIP phone solution.
For more information about how to integrate Pro-Cloud with voice over IP (VoIP) phone technology click here.
Finally don't be hard on yourself. Working from home is not an easy task during this current situation whether it's dancing children in the background of your conference call or an unstable internet connection freezing your face, it happens to us all. You're doing well, stay connected and keep going!