When life gives us lemons, Diversified makes the best lemonade, ever.
Working the typical Monday through Friday schedule has most office employees extremely reliant on their day-to-day routine: Wake up. Coffee. Breakfast. Commute (probably in rush hour traffic) to work. Clock-in. Small talk. Conference call. Get to work! There is something about a sense of structure that keeps us motivated and on track with our workload.
But... What happens when all of a sudden that routine is thrown off by something out of our control? Something like #COVID19, and mandatory social distancing?
The execs at Diversified Companies never thought they would have to transform the office into a completely remote, work-from-home status. Being a business heavily dependent on both inside and outside sales from a call center, there was an adaptation that needed to be made in order to keep things going from its employee's homes.
Making the transformation from in-office work to working from home hasn't been completely smooth-sailing. Not everyone is easily adjustable to change! First off, the company needed to make sure everyone has the right equipment to even be able to set-up a home office. Brand new phones were shipped directly to people's houses, all having to be programmed and set-up remotely. Surpisingly, getting all the hardware set-up was the easy part. How do you make a routine feel normal when working where you go to sleep at night?
The most crucial, yet most challenging transition has been coming up with ways to make employees feel like they are still participating in the usual "office life." Every office has rules and expectations of what they expect from their employees on a daily basis. Working from home, employees need to feel motivated and encouraged to do their work without being supervised by a boss, or mentor.
Right off the bat, The Rose Boys at Diversified encourage everyone to dress as if they were going into work: business casual. It can help employees be more serious and driven when wearing something a bit similar to what they would normally wear at the office.
Some might ask, "How would anyone even know if I was wearing my pajamas, anyway?" Well, every morning at 9:00 AM sharp, Diversified uses ZOOM to host a Video Conference Call with the entire WFH team to enjoy morning coffee and chit-chat together, just as they would at the office. Only lasting for fifteen minutes or so, the video calls really help the Diversified staff get that in-person feel, therefore maintaining the relationships we have built with one another and bring a sense of reality back into our daily routine.
Along with scattered conference (non-video) calls, throughout the workweek, the staff communicates via its "WhatsApp" group chat where employees are encouraged to share something interesting about their day. Whether it be a picture of their pet, turning their house into a homeschool for their children, or a virtual meal, it acts as a fun way to encourage everyone to stay in touch with one another. After all, our co-workers are who we saw more often than anyone else during the week. It is certainly an adjustment going from seeing everyone five-days a week to not seeing them at all.
These daily phone calls and conversations do their part to carry on Diversified's vision of positively impacting the lives of its employees and partners, especially during a time of crisis. Life has given us lemons, and the entire Diversified Family turned them into lemonade: the company is fully up and running from its agents and employees' homes all over the country. Phone calls are being answered, sales are being made, and everyone still feels connected - we have even planned a Friday night virtual Happy Hour!
Everyone has no choice but to adapt to a new sense of reality, but with these few activities, it is possible to retain the company culture and maintain significant relationships - even from a distance. Thankfully, modern technology makes all of this possible! On the bright side, everyone gets to establish their own personal routine working from home that works best for them.
Wondering how to create a personal style when working at home? Today.com offers advice on the best way to dress for your own individual needs.
According to professor Carolyn Mair, author of The Psychology of Fashion, "Keeping a routine helps us maintain a sense of control and degree of normality in times when we are feeling a lack of control, which leads to stress and even anxiety."
Author's Note: My name is Gabby and I'm the Digital Marketing Director at The Diversified Companies. This is my first experience working from home, ever! While I am totally guilty of working from home in my pajamas, I am so grateful to work for a company that can adapt to change, and embrace its culture from a distance. More companies need to adopt remote working: it shows flexibility and efficiency, and will ultimately result in more talented workers.