Lessons learned: Our employees reflect on 3 months of working-from-home

It has been almost three months since most of our employees have been sent home to work. Some have had some ongoing experience with that, while for others it was a new and different transition.

Everyone’s work-from-home experience is unique, and the lessons learned during this harrowing period are varied. We asked our own employees to offer their reflections on how the transition to remote and home-based working has worked out for them, and the wisdom they have accumulated in the process.

Here are some of the highlights, in their own words:

“That many companies and managers finally realize that working from home can be as productive as working from the “real” office. Here in Germany the current situation even got a discussion started that the right to work from home should now become an official part of employment contracts.”

“It is possible to switch to working from home maintaining high productivity and creativity. Modern communication and collaboration tools can bring colleagues together efficiently. Working from home may increase work-life balance and allow wonderful family bonding opportunities.”

“Put health first, protect and respect each other, and adapt faster.”

“You should always maintain balance between business and personal as this would benefit both. Although more obvious when working from home, it is still essential when working in an office space! Be agile concerning your time management; try to plan your day so that you have alternatives in case plans change during the day. Try to stay focused and avoid distractions; yes, they occur all the time in the office space as well.”

“The switch to 100% working-from-home was much easier than I thought it could be.”

“More time should be invested in communication as there is no physical contact with your coworkers. Body language is surely lost and in absence of video, facial expressions become extinct. The 'walk up a colleague in the corridor and they didn't seem well' does not exist when working from home. Therefore more 'health check calls' are needed.”

“I prosper when I have a proper routine and keep work and home activities separate.”

“The work never ends; therefore, you should unplug when the workday ends. Stick to a routine and keep a daily schedule including the non-working hours. Create the right space to maximize productivity. Keep a glass of water next to you as you work. Stay hydrated. Exercise refreshes you, don't postpone it for any reason.”

“Use my time effectively while expanding my time-management skills!”

“It is very important to find a good separation between your private life and your work. This was and still is the hardest and most difficult issue of working from home. You are so easily lost in work that you forget that you need to take a pause or that you also need to take care of your personal things.”

“What helped for me is a good walk in the morning followed by a nice breakfast and not touching your mobile before you sit behind your desk. Also, in the evening plan a time to stop, even if the work is not done and do for at least some hours something else. Do some sports, work in the garden, cook dinner or whatever so that you are obligated to stop working at least for a while.”

“Balance your contact points, stay connected (have regular interaction), plan blocks of work and take frequent breaks to help shift focus. Separate work life from home life and stay on top of things.”

“Relationships are important, so in the work-from-home world adjustments are needed in order to develop and maintain relationships. During your virtual meetings, please know where to find the mute button :-)”

“Get ready in the morning as if you are headed into the office. Be sure your home office has a view of something :). Develop and maintain your routine.”

Thanks again to our Atos Unify Digital Envoy employee community for their words of wisdom and lessons learned. Here’s wishing everyone the most positive work-from-home experience possible!

Find out how we can help your distributed team

Atos has invested in many years of experience, innovation and expertise in home working and distributed teams through its acquisition of Unify in 2016. Many of our own teams have been distributed or home-based for years and our own understanding of how virtual teams tick helps to shape the communication and collaboration solutions that we provide to customers. Let us know if you need help deploying team communications and collaboration.

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About Ross Sedgewick

Digital Workplace and Team Collaboration Expert
Ross joined Unify in 2002 and has fulfilled several expert marketing roles in technologies for the digital workplace, team collaboration / customer contact solutions, and virtual team engagement. He currently handles content creation, messaging and insight development relating to the digital workplace. Ross is passionate about humanizing the intersection of people and technology, and understanding how users engage and interact. Prior to joining Unify, Ross has held marketing, product, channel and sales leadership positions at IBM Corporation, Delano Technologies, and Siemens Enterprise Communications.