Managing a remote workforce: COVID-19

Author: Stephanie Diener
News Date: 12/5/2020 3:50 PM
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Stephanie Diener: Insights of an office manager during COVID-19


The administration team at AESG has been working from home since mid-March as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

The changes were sudden, and our team had to rapidly jump into action and start working from home, a new environment for individual staff and our team as a whole.

Over the past few months, the AESG team has faced challenges but have also discovered the many benefits of working from home.


Benefits

1. Office commute

One of the most positive aspects our team has enjoyed is not having to commute to work. This has resulted in having more time for our personal life, as well as making a positive contribution to our environment. 


2. Exercise

It has encouraged us to incorporate exercise into daily routines before and after work, which is having a positive impact on our wellbeing.


3. Fur Babies

Most importantly, we have welcomed everyone's fur babies into the AESG family, and we have enjoyed keeping a tally of each pet's naps per day.


Challenges

1. Lack of face-to-face

The biggest challenge has been the lack of daily face-to-face interaction. Our team has done their best to keep the communication high, have regular video meetings, create virtual team bonding activities and theme days.


2. Setting up home offices

This started off tricky, as not everyone has the same home layout. We were actually very lucky that we could simply unplug our computers and take them home. Some staff had to make changes such as moving furniture around, relocating from upstairs to downstairs in order to make sure they have an ergonomic and a comfortable working space.


3. Separating 'work life' and 'home life'

A common feeling from the team is that we are finding it difficult to differentiate between finishing work and starting to relax and unwind. Our workspaces and homes have essentially become the same area. Some staff will go for a walk when they finish work, just to have a feeling of 'coming home'. Homes are associated with leisure and relaxing so it can be quite tough to seperate the two environments when they collide.


Although we don't know when things will go back to 'normal', working from home could possibly become the 'new normal' and has opened many new possibilities for our team.

The middle office team has shown an amazing amount of support to myself, each other and the business. Whilst it has been challenging at times we have learnt, adapted and worked together.

We are all looking forward to the new challenges and opportunities that our changing work environment may have in store for us moving forward. 

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