Until the pandemic, remote work was rare in our company. Although we had this opportunity in justified cases, few of us took adventage of it. It seemed to us that the nature of our work requires a daily presence in the office and if not for the necessity of social isolation, we would probably still live in this conviction.
One day when we heard the message: From Monday we start home office mode, we had no idea what to expect. However, we knew that this situation will have many limitations and challenges.
What were the beginnings like?
Since the first coronavirus case had been recorded in Poland, the situation changed dynamically and decisions were made very quickly. Within a few days we faced the challenge of reorganizing the entire company into remote mode. It was necessary to prepare computers, install all necessary programs and applications, and set a new task schedule and communication system. We took these tasks very seriously, because we all had one goal – we did not want our clients to feel any negative effects.
When we implemented the new work system and set up home offices, it was time for a self-discipline test. For some, the beginnings were not easy – taking care of children, family responsibilities, a sense of social alienation and a lot of other distractions, which made it difficult to feel like in normal work. In the end, however, we all adapted to the new reality and began to find ourselves better in it.
Advantages and disadvantages of remote work
We have noticed that home office has many benefits. Thanks to the fact that we did not waste time on commuting and standing in traffic jams, we had more time to rest or to strengthen family ties, and our family finally had a chance to understand exactly what media planning and buying actually means. Sometimes separating private and professional life was not easy, but thanks to mutual motivation and ability to set priorities, we carried out our tasks as effectively as before.
Although working from home has many benefits, there are things we couldn’t pack in a bag and take home with us. The most troubled for us was the lack of a company atmosphere that could not be reproduced on messengers or through telephone conversations. We also lacked daily rituals for example eating lunch together, talking by coffee machine or jokes that could relieve stressful situations.
What have we learned?
Thanks to home office, we looked from a different perspective on all activities taking place in our company and saw that many processes can be improved. Video conferences have successfully replaced meetings with clients, electronic document flow has accelerated our projects, and team communication has become even more effective. We stopped postponing a lot of things for later, and we learned to respond to internal emails almost immediately. Paradoxically, constricted communication meant that we began to understand each other even better.
It turned out that the lack of supervisor does not impact our productivity, and the daily presence in the office is not necessary for everyone to know what to do. Home office forced us to greater autonomy and independence in making decisions, which we consulted with eachother more often before.
Until now, it seemed to us that we are a good team, but thanks to the pandemic we feel even more integrated. With this awareness we will return to the office. We hope soon.
Source: Text based on a survey of Media Concept employees about working from home.