Working from home - Learnings after six months

By Niyat Ghebremichael

Working from home - Learnings after six months

In March, the world changed, and all Zoomers and many customers started working from home. During these six months, we have been monitoring how colleagues and customers experience the fact that they work from home. Below we share our main learnings from working remotely.

How to keep the focus

How to start your day

When did you get up when you commuted to your office? You now have all your usual commute time for yourself to do what you want. Many of my colleagues at Zooma go for morning walks and runs (sometimes accompanied by friends, family, or dogs).

Some thirty minutes of fresh morning air seems to give many of my colleagues a better start and more energy than we usually have after commuting to the office. We've also found that we are in a better state of mind for the working day after the morning activity.

Create and nurture your home office

The need for a comfortable home office serves a meaningful purpose. Many of my colleagues have set up a more permanent workplace at home to separate their home office space from the rest of the home. When we finish for the day, we have closure from work and can focus on our close ones. Make sure that you adapt your chair and table height (if possible). In Zooma, all colleagues have had the opportunity to take their ergonomic chairs and monitors home. I advise you to do this.

Dialogue with your managers and colleagues

In Zooma, we have increased the number of internal meetings, individual sessions with managers, competence teams, and information meetings. To have an open and consistent dialogue with your manager and colleagues is crucial. Most of my colleagues experience that internal communication and interactions had become even better than when we worked in the office.

Get up and move 

You must take care of your body when working from home. It can be tempting to sit uninterrupted and work through your task and to-do list, but remember to take breaks. You can walk around your house or pop outside for a bit of fresh air. Tip - set the alarm on your phone or put it in your calendar.

Put on the kettle

A great way to stay motivated is to treat yourself; and what better way to reward yourself than by making some delicious treats? Coffee, tea, cake and fruits - spoil yourself with your favourite snacks and sweeten your day.

Keeping social

People are social by nature

When you are not able to by coincidence bump into one of your colleagues at the coffee machine or have a chat as they add a slice of cheese to a piece of crispbread, doesn't mean those essential interactions should disappear. It's even more crucial to make those interactions happen digitally. This type of conversations maintain and nurture work relationships and also help you to feel happy at work.

Discord is a fun app that makes it possible to simulate our office online. The ability to set up rooms you can enter to voice/video chat without having to host a meeting is impeccable.

Lunchtime

Some fresh air and change of scenery will re-invigorate you for the afternoon. I suggest that you take a walk during lunchtime. And perhaps you can indulge in the local restaurant lunch deal.

We had some virtual lunches with colleagues, friends and customers. It can be important to hear how your colleagues or customers are to avoid feeling isolated. A question at the beginning of a video meeting isn't enough to really know.

Video is more personal than a phone call

To both see and hear the person you interact with is more social, and often quicker and more productive than using your phone or sending a message or mail. Seeing a smiley face is far better for us when working alone than merely hearing a colleagues voice.

Use good quality headphones for video meetings. With many people in a meeting, it can be hard to hear and distinguish between colleagues, so let's make it easier for ourselves!

Use screen video 

Need to explain something a bit more complicated? Rather than get frustrated with yourself, it is easier to show something making a short video or share your screen, using tools like Zoom

Beats and voices

Music can help you to focus and give you the right inspiration. To listen to radio gives you a good sense of the wider community. There are also millions of good podcasts waiting to be discovered.

Bonding with your team

In Zooma, we have a very good team spirit and believe it's essential for us to continue to bond, and we do - more than ever. The following are some of the things that we chose to do in March and that we have continued:

Friday fika 

Every Friday, all colleagues gather in our digital Fredagsfika through Zoom. We share stories, deliver tasks, get challenged in competitions, answer questions and tell stories from our home offices.

Spotify playlist 

Everyone add songs on Spotify, and we create playlists for people to listen to at home.

House tours 

Everyone has been performing a house tour of their homes, telling a story of some kind about their homes.

Slack 

Have Slack channels for different subjects, to stimulate conversations between colleagues.

Above I have tried to summarise all Zoomers collective thoughts from our first six months working at home; I hope you found them helpful. It didn't take long to get used to working from home but to summarise I feel more comfortable, more creative and I know we can easily support each other and that the colleagues are just a Slack message or a Zoom-meeting away.

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Niyat Ghebremichael
Niyat is a content creator at Zooma since 2019. She loves to create content​ and helps to bring campaigns and ideas to life.
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