Published: May 12, 2020 | Comments
We moved from a 100% in-office culture to a 100% remote environment in a little less than two weeks. Our goal in this endeavor was to ensure more than a technologically seamless transition from office to home - we also wanted to preserve business continuity and workplace culture.
Thankfully, we were successful. After about a month and a half of working in this new environment, we’ve found that our team members are doing more than giving us quality performance - they’re thriving in this environment.
Here were some key actions we took to help:
Our first step in the transition was to create an organized management strategy. There is inherent structure in having your employees get up and drive into work each day and sit in close proximity to their managers and peers. That sensation needed to be filled with some additional structure in a remote dynamic.
In our company, each manager has daily meetings scheduled through Zoom with their group pre-shift, mid-shift, and post-shift. During the pre-shift meeting, they check to make sure everyone is online and ready to go for the day. The mid-shift and post-shift meetings are just a quick check-in to share any updates; then the rest of the meeting time is used to socialize as you may at the water cooler in your office. These quick check-ins help to refocus the team, keep structure in their day, and devote time in the day for questions.
Provide quick tech support
We’ve also had to modify the way our technical team supports our employees. For this transition, IT installed AnyDesk on all laptops so they have the ability to remote access to any laptop if needed. If support is required for system failure or connection issues, the agent can create a ticket within our internal ticketing system, including their AnyDesk ID, and then IT can remote into their computer while also chatting with the agent through this application to help troubleshoot.
After a week of working remotely, we realized there was also a need to streamline these AnyDesk requests and separate them from our normal programming and development queue. We created a direct extension where Supervisors and Managers can call for support after creating their AnyDesk ticket, and a system for escalating for more support.
Give feedback face to face (screen to screen)
All feedback, coaching, and training sessions are given over video conference, so those receiving the information can be fully present, at least virtually, and screens can be shared for a communal learning experience. It just helps to see a smiling face to gauge intention, where feedback over text or phone can feel impersonal. In a time where everyone is at least a little on edge, this type of communication is reassuring.
All management meetings are done over Zoom, as well, and we also host a weekly Zoom Happy Hour to thank and congratulate everyone for their hard work throughout the week.
My favorite thing to come out of this transition is seeing all of the creative ways our team has found to promote a positive work environment. Everyone has really come together to make the most of this situation, and agents have given upward feedback that they’re happier than ever in their current roles. Our agents are grateful to our company for finding an efficient way for them to continue their work while also keeping them safe. They are also happy to remain connected to their peers.
We expected that there may be some productivity and schedule adherence issues with working from home, but that really has not been the case for the majority of this workforce. We’ve been able to maintain an efficient work environment from the office to home.