Not another tips & tricks article on COVID-19…
6 months ago the HSDS team started working from home, as did many other small businesses and companies all over the world. It’s been a reflective time for everybody and what we have learned during lockdown is the importance of staying connected with the team members, of taking care of ourselves and our well-being, of keeping work structured and creating a new daily routine, to adapt and improvise and never lose our sense of humour.
This article won’t give you any magical or innovative solutions on how to work from home, but, if you read it through, it will give you a different perspective on the daily lives of HSDS team members, during these crazy pandemic times that no one saw coming…
With HSDS offices closed and all the social distancing restrictions, it is important to find a way to stay connected with the team members. Communication can help in reducing stress any other feelings of anxiety and frustration that may arise from these uncertain times we are living but also from any other work-related tasks.
“Communication is essential. We communicate more now than before the pandemic. We have daily online meetings with the team that keep us on track and help us prioritise tasks.” (Romana – Director of Customer Support)
“The topics covered in our Skype calls are more complex now, in order to achieve some emotional balance, I think. From Monday to Friday, I serve breakfast and snacks next to my laptop. That’s because, before the pandemic, I used to have coffee breaks and lunch meals together with my colleagues. This helps me stay connected and keeps alive the feeling of belonging to the team.” (Teodora – 2nd Level Support)
“Home office means wherever you call your home, so I am extremely lucky I could move my ‘home office’ temporarily to Umbria, with a new freedom far away from the busy City Cluj-Napoca, and our team meetings still take place, now not from my study, but from my terrace. So every cloud has a silver lining!” (Adriaan Kleingeld – CEO at HSDS)
Pomodoro, our love…
No, we don’t mean eating more tomatoes, it’s the time-management trend tool everyone talks about. Using a kitchen or any other timer, you can efficiently break down your workload into sessions (called pomodoros) of 25 minutes each, with breaks of 5 minutes in between. After 4 pomodoros, you can take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. Then you start the process all over again. What’s not to love about it?
“I like working from home. I learned to create myself a morning routine: wake up early in the morning, have a coffee and a light breakfast, start working on the heavier tasks and move on to start organizing the rest of the day following the Pomodoro Technique: creating new tickets / tasks, checking the ones in progress and get in contact with the team, taking proper breaks and frequent breaks.” (Romana – Director of Customer Support)
Improvise! Adapting to the new normal…
In one way or another, we can admit that our lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our daily routines have changed and we are now practicing and building patience, acceptance and resilience more than ever.
“We went through a rather sensitive period until we accepted the new normal. I still work with a daily to-do list the same as I did before the pandemic, but I’ve learned that it’s better to leave a dose of flexibility, so that I can easily and quickly adapt to whatever comes. A few times I happened to run out of internet because the wire on the staircase of the building had been pulled out by a curious child. Luckily, in 2020, most of us have a generous data package included in our monthly mobile phone subscription. On the weekends I get in the car to search for any new unseen places, and when an alarm goes off for a task, I stop and quickly improvise an office.” (Teodora – 2nd Level Support)
“I now save time by not having to commute daily and I can even do some laundry in between. What is most important, I have the chance to spend more time with my daughter.” (Romana – Director of Customer Support)
“Undoubtedly Covid-19 has had the biggest impact on any Company I have ever run. What I had anticipated may be a two to three month “situation” that needed to be managed, has turned out to be one of the biggest events “mankind” has ever had to deal with. Nonetheless, “Mankind” always proves to be most innovative and resilient when challenged by adversity, the HSDS team has shown this as well and I am proud and privileged to work with such a wonderful group of people, each and every one of them!” (Adriaan Kleingeld – CEO at HSDS)
“The pandemic influenced my working style quite a lot, good and bad. Good because I can sleep a bit longer and bad because I never finish work at the same hour as I did before. I like working from home because I can also travel and do my work from anywhere, but at the same time I miss working from the office and being able to communicate with my team and discuss all sorts of issues a bit easier.” (Marian – 2nd Level Support)
Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Exercising during lockdown and while working from home helps in improving sleep, reducing anxiety, fighting depression, mental fatigue, and stress relief. A healthy mind in a healthy body: persistence is the key!
“I like to start the day with a short morning run. It helps not only get myself out of the house but also keeps me balanced, focused and sharp. Exercising gives me goals and clear steps on how to reach those goals. Then I can start working on my daily tasks, more energized and fresh.” (Roxana – PR & Digital Marketing Manager)
“After a quick lunch I take a half hour break only to cycle around, get some fresh air and relax my mind, with no music and no telephone, and then I get back to work with a fresh mind.” (Marian – 2nd Level Support)
“Besides coffee I keep myself energized by doing physical exercises. I found that yoga poses can boost energy just as well as some push ups. Thus, depending on the mood or the task that I am dealing with I keep doing one or the other.” (Mihai – 2nd Level Support)
Bake it ‘till you make it!
That’s right! Bake those feelings away! And these crazy times we are living certainly created a roller coaster of feelings and emotions for everyone…
“I started cooking more seriously than I did before the pandemic. I could even say that the pandemic helped me develop in this direction of gastronomy. Besides inventing new recipes from cheaper ingredients, already found in the house, I specialized in desserts, making something sweet during breaks (almost daily), for a certain emotional comfort as opposed to the general state of panic, presented in the media.” (2nd Level Support)
Get a personal assistant!
A personal assistant can help stay organized, keep track of tasks, take notes, schedule meetings and even remind you when it’s break time! Assistants can come in many shapes and sizes… furry or not…
We’ve looked and asked around and believe us, HSDS assistants are the best!
Team Video Meetings
Or how to share your bad hair day with the team… Seriously, video meetings are crucial in creating a feeling of still belonging to the team even if, at HSDS, we no longer share an office space and we work alone from our homes. As the saying goes: “Out of sight, out of mind” or “Eyes which don’t see each other, forget each other”… you get the point…
“As we no longer see each other as we used to during our lovely daily coffee breaks at the HSDS office, it’s important to have video calls with the team and spend the first 5 minutes of the call chit chatting about our day to day lives over a coffee and then start focusing on the tasks. A video call with your team can surprisingly brighten your day!” (Roxana – PR & Digital Marketing Manager)
How about your team?
How are they coping?
Have a look at our previous related articles on Top 11 Resources to Help You Get Through the Coronavirus Pandemic and A Note to the Troops… Let’s Beat This Covid-19 Together!