It goes without saying, but we are in a new world. The sporting world is on hold, stores are shuttered, non-essential services are closed and many, if not most offices are asking their staff to work remotely from home if they can.
This is a difficult time for everyone, and if you have been asked to suddenly work from home you probably have a lot of questions. Combined with the uncertainty of what is going on around us, it’s easy to be anxious, scared, worried and helpless. You are not alone.
And if we look at working from home, that doesn’t really sound terrible does it? No more driving to work, fighting traffic along the way. You’ll definitely save money on gas and just what are you going to do with the extra time not having to commute? But one of the harshest realities of working from home and self-isolation is the fact that you are isolated from your coworkers; teammates who you rely on to keep you motivated, drive you crazy and keep you sane; who listen to you and who share their stories.
To slow/stop the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, the Insurego team agreed to work from home for the next two weeks under the caveat that we would organize a virtual workspace if we needed to.
Our team relies on ad hoc meetings, quick sync-ups and in-person conversations. We have a small office and communicating with one another is relatively easy. But when you can’t quickly schedule those important in-person sync to get clarification on a project or you can’t just walk over to a colleague’s desk and share an idea, staying aligned is a challenge.In this blog, I am going to share with you how we are trying to stay connected with our colleagues and how we try to keep the amazing momentum going.
Here’s how we (our Marketing Team) are doing it:
Before we left our office on Friday, March 13th we all established an expectation that we were to work from home as much as possible over the next 14 days. Communicating expectations and establishing guidelines is extremely important to avoid unnecessary worry, ensuring everyone is aligned and understands their roles and responsibilities. We’ve established a regular schedule, and we will sync up at 10am and 2pm every day to ensure there are no roadblocks along the way. These 10-15 minute syncs allow people to share updates, ask how everyone is doing and ensure they have the right tools in place to kick ass at their job.
We use a project management software called Monday.com to keep track of our projects and responsibilities. Each of our team members are on the platform and we post our work there and encourage comments. We can keep track of our progress and we are able to see what everyone else is working on. Visibility and transparency is key in situations like this.These syncs are quick and to the point and help establish the cadence we all need to get going and work efficiently. We establish a Google Hangout or Zoom meeting, we all login, share our updates and then get back to work.
Setting the expectation is important here so everyone is prepared to discuss what they need, by when, and from whom.When we are not syncing as a group, we use a program called Slack for real-time chatting. Think of it like Facebook Messenger but for office people. It allows us to work in our pajamas and still stay connected with our peers. (Dear Rob and Gina, I am not necessarily working in my pajamas, but if I was there’d really be know way of knowing right? 😉)If you work on a small team, and do not have access to programs like Slack, Monday.com or Zoom, it doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone and call someone.
Today’s tendency is to text or email, but it doesn’t hurt to speak to someone either; just call and ask questions directly, ask them how they are doing etc. I just explained what the Insurego Marketing Team is doing to stay connected.
Our brokers are also all working remotely and available to answer any questions you may have. They can be reached by calling 1-844-678-7346.Remember, we all play a part in helping one another. This is a serious situation and we all need to take it that way.