After 6 months of working at Clinked (time flies!), I am taking a moment to reflect on my time since joining back in March. At present, the Clinked team are still working remotely (either from home or from a co-working space) so the challenge continues! Little did we know that we would still be working remotely six months later back when the pandemic hit.
It has been a busy couple of quarters with our product remaining in demand for remote workers. New features have been released, we have launched our zoominar sessions and created a ‘Help and Learning’ centre on the Clinked website for clients' knowledge development. Given all these developments, this blog will explore the challenges and benefits of remote working, through the experiences of our Clinked team these past months.
Working from home: Do you love it or hate it?!
Remote working statistics reveal that attitudes towards remote working are diverse. Whilst there is some indication that remote work is preferable and we no longer need the traditional office structure, additional pressures and implications of remote work are highlighted.1
Indications of the benefits of remote work:
- 98% of people surveyed said they would like the option to work remotely for the rest of their careers
- 80% of remote workers felt healthier and less tired
- 63% of the global workforce surveyed feel they are more productive working from home than when they were in the office 1
Drawbacks of remote work are also clear:
- 55% identified not being able to communicate in person as one of their top three challenges
- Nearly 60% of people we surveyed feel less connected to their colleagues since working remotely more often
- only 15 per cent would want to work remotely every day and nearly three quarters felt that their company should still have an office 1
“Are you on mute?”
Certainly, technology enables us to communicate with colleagues. However, it is harder to get a strong signal in more rural areas! One of the challenges I have faced whilst working from home is bad wifi 😣
Those of you who have experienced bad connectivity when working remote will be able to relate to the frustration caused by poor connection. With the majority of people working from home during the lockdown, competing for wifi & internet bandwidth was a problem. It is no surprise that internet searches for ‘slow broadband’ increased by 60% in April.2 Poor connectivity is a persistent issue; from taking ages to login to joining video calls and looking extremely pixelated with a wavering voice! I am looking forward to using the WeWork wifi soon!
Staying Connected & Team Morale
Many remote teams have recognised the challenges of connecting with colleagues when all encounters are taking place virtually. Particularly, if you are starting a new job during the pandemic and did not know your colleagues prior to the remote working situation. Virtual onboarding and training have become the “new normal” for workers starting a new job during the pandemic.
Efficient organisation is important for remote workers; what could be flagged up ad-hoc in the office and resolved with a team member sitting nearby, is now down to the individual remote worker to keep track of. Harvard Business review recommend keeping a daily diary of tasks.3 Personally, I have been using a list note-pad and have found calendar reminders useful!
The social element of working in an office environment is hard to replicate when working remote. According to The Guardian ‘people with a close friend at work are 7 times more likely to be engaged with the work itself’.4
So, how do we unite the team at Clinked?
Long-live the “water-cooler”...
Our Clinked team challenges have continued. We like to round off the week with a water cooler (a time for non-work related conversation). The team has enjoyed making a drink of choice, sharing photos that inspire and drawing challenges!
In addition, our Client Success team met up for an outdoor lunch on a sunny day in September. While we keep in touch with regular video calls - BTW: video calls are recommended over phone calls when working remotely to maintain human connection, discuss matters and receive answers quickly 5 - it was nice for those who work on client success to meet up after such a long time. Also, the team got to meet our newest team member, Olivia for the first time in person too! After lunch, we were able to have an afternoon in a remote office providing
us with a much needed change of scene and a bit of normality. Despite the benefits of working remotely, it was evident we had all missed a physical place to meet (i.e. office!) and being able to just turn around to discuss ideas rather than have to set up a Google Meet call for conversations.
Wearing our masks responsibly - A sign of the times!
Zoominar Launch & Knowledge Shares
This year Clinked has started running a zoominar series. These sessions help us to bring our Clinked community together. Thanks to all of our clients who have been joining our fortnightly zoominar sessions! These have provided us with a way to explore a different aspect of Clinked for each session, for clients to develop their knowledge and engage with the team. Recent webinars include Permissions, A Tour, Discussions and Notifications. Please feel free to sign-up if you are a client - we look forward to seeing you there! You can also watch these on Clinked’s Youtube Channel in your own time.
Working with Client Remotely
Throughout the last six months I have been running onboarding sessions - these are designed to introduce new clients to Clinked. They also provide us with a way to learn about our clients use-cases. Client onboarding takes place via Google Meet, which works well because we can do the session socially distanced. When we were in the office for an afternoon in September, we put together physical welcome packs for our new joiners - to all our newer clients out there, we hope you enjoyed receiving these in the post!
Hope you enjoyed reading a glimpse of the past 6 months at Clinked! Good luck to all of you still working remotely, we are glad to have been hearing that our product is bringing value to remote teams.