Taking client calls, brainstorming and creating content, and fulfilling daily duties remotely was a new experience for not only myself, but our entire Informatics team. Though a vast majority of our work may be digital, conducting team meetings and project management over the phone is no easy task when our typical workflow occurs in an office with everybody inhabiting the same space. Because of this, a lot of day to day operations can bring some setbacks. Find out the process of how we adjusted.
With this being my first experience working not only virtually but in a professional job setting, there were a lot of pivotal moments in my first few weeks. I was progressively making changes in my work space to be the best employee I could be. Here are 5 things I didn't think I'd need but now cannot live without:
1. A quality headset. It sounds like a minor affair, but it was one of the first things I quickly realized was essential for effective communication. Most people with computers for casual use might have a set of off-brand or Bluetooth headphones, but after the first time meeting my team, I knew I wanted to be able to speak loud and clear with no threat of losing connection. I went through a few old headsets I found around the house before settling on a Logitech headset referred by my team. It's adjustable with a USB chord and noise-cancelling capabilities; works like a charm!
2. An extra monitor or mouse. If you are able, having either of these things in your possession makes work a whole lot faster and smoother. With several different software platforms to use throughout the day, a lot of switching back and forth between screens and quick hand movements is required.
3. Large and open desk space. Multiple tasks to complete in a day's notice can crowd the brain and clutter your workspace. Creating a sizable area to lay everything out will get rid of the clutter--in your physical environment and in your mind.
4. Stable network speed. This goes without saying, but this was a severe struggle of mine when I first moved back to my college campus. Always confirm your Wi-Fi is dependable and work with your network company to troubleshoot any issues! If all else fails, YouTube tutorials can always save the day.
5. A notepad and pen. This is another obvious one. However, some may dismiss these in the age of ever-growing technological advancement. On an off day when your computer crashes or your word docs get miraculously erased, these items will come in handy. Regardless, old-fashioned note-taking helps the brain retain information better.
After smoothing out any operational bumps, it's important to establish proficient ways of communication and organizational methods upon starting work. A few tools we use as a company are Microsoft Teams and Planner, which can both be found under the Office 365 suite. Teams is a great way to connect with coworkers without using personal information, and Planner is something that will likely stick with our company once we resume normal office procedure. For our full team meets and client calls, we swear by Zoom--always reliable and user-friendly!
We hope this helped to give some insight into our virtual transition and provide ways to make your own online endeavors more feasible. If you have any questions on how to better utilize your remote work space, feel free to contact the digital experts at Informatics. Above all else, stay calm, and good luck!
Written by Kaylie Pitts, Informatics Marketing Intern