A dispersed yet connected workforce

March 17, 2020
Rebecca Threlkeld

At Olikka, we love being together, enjoying one another's company. We recently elected to move to remote working. Here's what we've found is helping us stay focused on delivering results, and sustaining our connections.

  • Individual chat - Keep that video on for our one to one chats to sustain human connection
  • Teams group chat - we are social and emotional creatures. Our success is dependent on how we collaborate, share ideas and trust one another. While we miss the ping pong, and shared lunches for now, we keep a Teams chat open all day allowing us to dip in and out and stay connected
  • Be extra diligent - Keep working out loud and communicating with people on the same project. Remember it’s OK to slow down to speed up.
  • Over communicate - It’s easy to stay in the loop in a shared space but when we’re working remotely we keep those lines of communication open. There’s no such thing as too much communication, especially with customers.
  • Share your environment and let them in your home - It makes us all feel more connected (plus who doesn’t love a little nosey into home life)
  • It doesn’t have to be all about work - we held our regular company update via Teams meeting, and then left the session open afterwards for ‘team drinks’. Everyone was still at home with the vino and chatting via video just like we would if we were in the office.
  • Embrace remote working together - your best bet of being a great disparate work force is to fully support it together. Use your companies core values and empower one another to thrive!

Olikka’s top tips for setting up your home office:

  • Identify what you need - Equipment, Good Posture, Lighting, Space.
  • Our key takeaways are to invest in a good webcam with sound quality for your meetings. Don’t make do with a stool or laptop perched on a box - get yourself a monitor and office chair.
  • Choose a dedicated area - An area with some privacy where it detaches from home life - especially important if you share the house with a spouse, children, or roommates. Staying focused is also trickier with distractions like chores, pets, social media and food so a safe space is vital.
  • Consider the light - Natural lighting gives you energy and increases our creativity and productivity. Exposure to daylight can impact your physical and mental well-being so park yourself near a window if possible.
  • Go Green - Keep a plant or two in your work space. Not only will you have better air quality, but research shows a plant can improve productivity and make you happier at work (I’m partial to a succulent or fern as they are less easy to kill).
  • Get some healthy foods and snacks in - Having a full fridge and pantry could sway you to nibble more than usual. It’s easier to be tempted so have some healthier options to head for. Equally, you can forget to eat so make sure you have designated lunches like you normally would.
  • Take brief mental rest periods - It can be easy to lose track of time and be static for hours. Take time to move around as this will increase your productivity and reduce any potential cabin fever thoughts. Jump into Slack or Teams chats when you need to take 5 and sustain some human connection.
  • Keep your routine - Get ready as you normally would. Dress to impress over those comfies I know you want to reach for - you’ll feel more powerful and be more productive.

So, what does your home office setup look like? Here are a couple of Olikka’s to get you inspired!

  • Office spaces come in many different shapes and sizes - you just need to make it work for you so you feel as comfortable as you would at the office or on customer site.

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