Start With the Basics
At Theorem, we really find ourselves at the forefront of this new world. Namely because we run managed services for clients who largely need the same outputs during COVID-19 as they did before it hit. During initial BCP, we could rely on our PACT (Policy, Agility, Communication and Transparency) guidelines to get the business set-up for this new world. But now the reality of working from home is here. Today we rely heavily on our core principals – Be Expert, Be Transparent, Be Direct, Be Effective – as the guiding pillars to help us work most effectively as one team.
A Three-Pronged Approach
We have found that the majority of best practices for working from home fit into 3 core groups:
- Supporting our people.
- Optimizing our communication.
- Living a hyper-agile approach to client work.
1. Supporting Our People
Family Time vs Work Time
Establishing Effective Boundaries
Lighten the Mood & Encourage Variety
Mental Health & Support
Balancing the demands of everyday life is already a challenge under normal circumstances. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have created additional levels of stress to our lives.
“We provide counseling for employees to overcome stress either at work or for personal reasons. Anonymity is maintained with regards to the problem & the treatment that one may need to take.” – Theorem HR Team
Furthermore, we are all worried about the health of our families, the economy and the wider global situation. Most of us are in a state of constant adjustment to the rapid changes to our work and life schedules. Pile on the constant news and social media stream message overload with time sensitive work-loads and you have a recipe for a very unhealthy level of stress
Maintaining Emotional Well-Being
There is no wrong or right way to do this.
With all of this in mind, it is important for us as individuals, teams and companies to do whatever we can to maintain our mental health and provide support to those that need it.
To encourage mental well being, business partners and HR managers are in constant contact with team members.
The nature of our services means we have employees working with high priority deadlines and unconventional work shifts. As such, we promote mental health and offer support to our teams as a regular practice. Considering the unprecedented stress levels of our lives in the current state of the world, we realize that this is more important now than it ever has been before.
“We have provided our staff with information regarding our mental telehealth programs and encouraged all members of our teams to take advantage of these services if needed.” – Jay Kulkarni, CEO, Theorem
2. Optimizing Our Communications
Theorem has always maintained a high level of communication and transparency across the organization. In order to properly tackle the challenges being presented, we would have to pump up the volume on our existing communication practices and create some new ones.
“The standard routines of working in a physical office can often actually hide poor communication behaviors. In the working from home world, these hidden behaviors are taken out of the equation and new ideas emerge.” -Henry Rowe, CSO
Increased Communication Through Separation
We have found that if we encourage over-communication, then the physical separation has actually enhanced the way we communicate, for the bette. From the top of the organization down, people are forced to ensure everyone is up to speed.
Teamwork in a Crisis
Unity With a Purpose
This sense of community goes beyond working hours or business related issues. Carrying over into the personal life of our staff.
3. Truly Agile Working
Enabling Connectivity & Optimizing IT Support
Adapting to Achieve Results
Optimizing Client Work
Proactive Management is the Key
Of course, managers are constantly working diligently to monitor their teams capabilities and maintain proper work volumes. But adapting to this new version of remote working meant increasing the proactive element of their approach. We do everything we can to help our teams to manage stress.
Management had also initiated regular team virtual happy hours to encourage breaks and enable socializing. Each beginning with some laughter and light hearted banter.
One thing most people miss during working from home is the office banter and light-hearted conversation. They just don’t realize it until it’s gone!
At the heart of our strengths is putting our people first and supporting them, enhancing our teamwork skills and values, and openly communicating with team members, clients and partners.
All with the purpose of maintaining optimal delivery for our clients.
New challenges and realities are manifesting every day. And that is daunting. However it is important that we recognize our achievements and take time to celebrate the things we have overcome.
We hope that sharing our realities of adjusting to the new normal of working from home will help others with their adaptations.