How I adjusted to remote work! Confessions of a new hire
Myself, alongside millions are adapting to the challenge of working from home. I had recently started my new role as a business administrator here at Clinked - and one week-in the impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 hit!
At Clinked, we're extremely lucky that we are all set up to work remotely and can continue to work from home without interruption. We've been able to adapt our working style from the office environment into one that is productive at home. As a new team member, I have been learning by doing!
Curious what that means? I’d like to share my experiences of this unusual time further.
Week 1: New Place, New Team
Joining a small software firm in Cambridge, UK
After moving back to Cambridge from Exeter, where I completed my studies & worked for a year, my first week began at the office with a small team present, due to a sales trip to California. In hindsight, this was perfect timing, as it has meant I have been able to self-isolate from the comfort of my own home!
The main focuses of my first week were: 1. Learning all about our product Clinked, and 2. Getting the word out about an upcoming conference, Legalex 2020 we were attending the next week.
What I learnt about Clinked:
- Clinked is a white-label client portal- it can be rebranded for your own company
- It can be used to communicate both internally (within your team) & externally (with clients)
- It is secure & simple to use
We were due to be at Legalex 2020, the UK’s leading legal sector conference, on the 18 & 19 March. My role was to call potential attendees to see if they’d come by our booth to learn more about Clinked. After three days of calling, our team in California were advised the conference would be delayed (Fortunately!) due to the coronavirus outbreak - luckily my work will help when it happens later on 2 & 3 December!
Rounding out the week was team onboarding! A team lunch, breakfast and Friday office drinks were a fun way to get to know other team members. It was interesting to learn about the process of sales prospecting - methods to reach out to potential future clients - and adapt to a different working culture from my previous larger team environment.
Week 2: Cha-cha-cha changes
Starting working from home, research and calling existing clients
It was an uncertain start to the week as concerns about the spread of coronavirus were at the forefront of many people’s minds over the weekend. My week began with a lift to work from our CEO in order to avoid public transport!
It was nice to be in the office, although it was much quieter than normal. Our floor merely half-full and the usually lively ground-floor of WeWork Cambridge was virtually empty. From conversations with other WeWork members, it was clear that everyone was feeling uneasy about what was yet to come. However, I tried to keep a normal as I dove into (and genuinely enjoyed) the practical task of our monthly mailing of welcome letters to our new clients.
On the evening of 16 March - in the UK everything changed with Boris Johnson (the UK Prime Minister) making an announcement with new measures that were advised to be followed:
COVID-19 changed the game. With this, myself and the team began to work from home. The remainder of week two was split between client calls, an outbound sales research project and setting up a new company working style. Reaching out to our existing Clinked clients from a point of empathy allowed us to understand how our clients are coping given the crisis. All changes taking place were affecting everyone to some extent whether work-wise or personally.
Keeping up both team morale & extra-communication, were identified early on by the Clinked team as essential for being productive when working remotely. Technology has been undeniably helpful, enabling us to continue having our morning stand-up while adding in a daily challenge & social ‘water-cooler’ chat; contributing to creating a sense of routine. As a new team member, using Google-Hangouts to screen-share has made it possible for me to continue and learn the skills required for my role virtually.
The daily challenges have kept us entertained - The mixture of physical and creative challenges gave us all a chance to discover hidden skills & interests of our team ranging from yoga sun salutations to sketching. Here's one example from our challenge to "draw an animal & the Clinked logo" submittals!
Week 3: A “New Normal”
Learning and contributing to all things Clinked as we remained in our remote working environment
My third week was all about product learning. We continued to work remotely and adapt to our ‘new-normal’ while I learned all things Clinked with the team via Google Hangouts. The main task was to come up with my own use-case for a new Clinked environment. This included becoming familiar with all the different features and integrations, such as Jotform and Zapier.
Firstly, I was given demos from all team members throughout the week. This was immensely valuable giving me both tips on how to do a demo, and ideas to feed off as to what key features to include in a Clinked environment - these popular features include group-chat, tasks, events, files and discussions tabs. From all this, I realised the versatility of Clinked, and how it can be tailored to meet specific client needs.
Giving my own demo was interesting as it is something I have never done before, and selling is not something that necessarily comes naturally to me! However, I survived and am excited to have the approval to further my user-case for an industry I know well and am hoping will be beneficial to many such firms.
Lastly, I enjoyed my first contribution to blog writing, learning how to adapt academic writing to blog-style! The blog focused on maintaining client relationships and trust in times of uncertainty. Also, I worked on the UK component of a campaign for the NHS and bio-medical research projects to contribute to the global challenge of COVID-19. It was refreshing to focus locally on Cambridgeshire for this project, where we are offering Clinked free for a year to help those directly making a big impact on COVID-19 in any way we can.
I hope you can relate to my experience of working remotely at Clinked. As the novelty of working from home wears off and you miss the faces and daily dynamics of a busy office, stay optimistic and continue to meet with your colleagues at the virtual water-cooler. You may just learn of a hidden talent or two!