Extentian’s Embrace Working From Home
It’s been almost a month since we at Extentia have embraced the brave new world of Work From Home (WFH) to ensure that our colleagues, partners, and families are sufficiently protected from the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. WFH certainly has its positives and has encouraged us to adapt to a brand new set of processes along with allowing us to spend more time with loved ones.
As with any new experience, however, it does require some getting used to. For those of us workaholics who were used to being at our most productive in an actual office, it can be a challenge to channel that same level of productivity in a space that was erstwhile reserved for relaxation or Netflix binges. In light of that, we thought we’d share some quick helpful tips to ensure that you get the most out of your WFH experience.
We also wanted to show you some of the unique ways through which we’re adapting our processes activities and initiatives. We may be working from home but that unmistakable Extentian spirit that you know and love us for will persevere!
Consistent Hours While it’s certainly wonderful to no longer have a commute and to be able to start work virtually as soon as you roll out of bed (some of you may not even need to get out of bed), it’s important to ensure that you stick to roughly the same schedule as you would if you were going into the office. It’s also important to start work at a reasonable time that is consistent with that of your larger team of co-workers so as to ensure there are no delays or lapses in communication. Find a schedule that works best for everyone and ensure that every member of your team more or less sticks to the hours you decide on. We have taken it upon ourselves to chalk out schedules that allow us to maintain and uphold the the sky high standards of excellence that our partners have come to expect from us. Even though we’re working from home our commitment to timelines, deadlines and customer expectations remains unwavering. Through our system of distributed collaboration we’ve ensured that all of our teams are both accountable for the hours they work and are able to provide holistic support across our various domains.
Set Up An ‘Office‘ Designate an area of your home to function as your ‘home office’. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a separate room and can even be a dedicated desk in your living room or bedroom. What’s important is that in doing this you create a mental separation between your ‘home’ and your ‘office’. It also allows you to more easily avoid distractions and lets those you live with know that you’re otherwise occupied. Extentians have truly embraced their familiar new ‘work’ environments and have taken it upon themselves to set up cozy yet productive alcoves in their homes that mirror their zany, colourful, quirky and whimsical personalities. Last month we even held a photo competition that encouraged fellow Extentians to share their new desks and workspaces.
Effective Communication Despite advancements in technology that have allowed WFH to be a feasible workplace reality, it is still a little fragmented by virtue of its very nature. As a result of this, it becomes of paramount importance to remain in close contact with both your team as well as the various interconnected elements of your organization at large. The ease and intuitive nature of applications such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom,allow you to do virtually everything you would be able to do if we're in the same office from discussions to meetings to brainstorming sessions and everything in-between. Ensuring that everyone on your team is aware of precisely what you’re working on at a given time goes a long way towards improving your productivity. Through distributed collaboration Extentians are able to seamlessly collaborate in the same manner they would in shared physical spaces, with no lapses in communicatation. Project Managers are able to keep themselves informed about every facet of a given implementation and team members can intuitively work together to brainstorm, solve problems and deliver confidence to our partners.
Dress to Impress While it’s initially wonderful to be able to work in your PJs all day, you’ll find that the novelty quickly wears off and that you’ll feel much more productive if you attempt to at least put on some pants/trousers and a nice t-shirt before you get started with work for the day. While you certainly don’t have to dress formally every day, making an effort to dress up a little bit can do wonders in terms of improving your motivation to work. It can also help what is a rather strange situation feel just a little more normal. While Extentia has always been very liberal with our dress policy, we do encourage our employees to look as presentable as they would if they were in public. We’ve also been encouraging video calls over mere voice calls in order to maintain some semblance of normal face-to-face communication. Seeing another face, even over video can do wonders for morale during this period of self isolation.
Set Boundaries Working from home can often feel like you’re always ‘on the clock’ so it’s imperative that you allow yourself time to stop, relax and breathe for a bit. You’re not helping anyone if you’re working through the night just because your ‘office’ is now across the room from you. By overworking yourself you’ll do tremendous harm to both your productivity as well as the overall quality of your work. While there’s nothing wrong with going above and beyond the call of duty once in a while, you must ensure that you don’t burn yourself out particularly during times as trying and stressful as these.
We’ve set up a number initiatives to make sure that the entirety of the Extentia family is able to unwind periodically throughout what is a difficult situation. We’ve taken our employee engagement initiative virtual and leveraged the power of collaborative work platforms to conduct virtual ‘Friday Reboots’ which include quizzes, storytellings sessions and talent shows. These have played a tremendous role in establishing some semblance of normalcy. They also allow us to decompress after a hectic week and to enter each new week refreshed, relaxed and reinvigorated.
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