“Although I’ve always been able to work from home it’s not something I’ve done on a regular basis. I’m a sociable creature by nature so I generally prefer being in the office and interacting with my team and colleagues in person. With Provisioning being a fast moving and busy area of the business it’s good to be able to speak to people in person but with Teams and a whole host of other remote working solutions at our fingertips it’s just as easy to stay in contact with colleagues. I also make sure to take screen breaks so I’m not stuck at the desk all day and go for a walk at lunchtime just like I would do back at the office. It helps keep my focus and not just be stuck staring at the same walls all day and night!
My two Maine Coons, Buddy and Gizmo are slightly put out by the interruption in their sleeping routine but there has only been one potential incident where one stepped on my keyboard and someone nearly got an update which said “kfjdghfghfjriojreoigjrieog”. They are one of the biggest domestic cat breeds in the world - listen out for them letting out the odd roar or see if you can spot a mini lion in the background if you video call me.”
Although I have been setup to work at home for some time, it was only really for the odd day now and again. Given that we are going to be doing it long term I had to take some steps to make it closer to what we have in the office.
I’ve had one of the old office desks stored in the shed for some time. It was always too big to keep in the house, so I cut a chunk off and customised it to fit into the space I have. It’s worked out quite well. Whenever I have worked at home before I have had the house to myself. The kids have been off school since Tuesday (17th March). I can tell this is going to be quite a trial. I’m already eyeing up the treehouse in the garden should I feel the need to self-isolate further. I can always extend a wireless network out there.
Working from home comes in many guises and it is clear that our pets are big part of home life. Here is the set-up of Sam, Account Director for Public Sector. Sam is based North of Dundee and is used to working from home when not out meeting our Public Sector Clients, as you can see George her Cockapoo is getting in on the action and holding a meeting via video conference to colleagues in Glasgow and Portugal.
Billy joined here by his K9 companion, Shep, doesn't normally work from home. He said " It's great that we have the technology that allows us to work from home, and good to see the Business Continuity Plan in action." Billy does prefer to be in the office but at least Shep is keeping him company.
I have worked from home two days per week for many years now and do so with ease. Working from home is no different to being in the office thanks to the wide array of technology available. I can log on securely to Sharepoint and other company files and resources using a VPN, any calls come in through my usual DDI to my Mitel handset (not pictured) and we use Microsoft Teams to chat, share files and hold video and call conferences.
The only difference today is adjusting to working from home with my 11 year old daughter by my side due to the school closures from the Coronavirus pandemic. Other than that it is business as usual, with a twist!
I work from home from time to time, as long as you have access to any tools / apps you would normally use in your office then it is exactly the same and I think that having the ability to work remotely from anywhere is essential nowadays to keep being productive no matter what.
Damian's companion in the photograph is called Akira, she sends greetings to everyone, stay safe.
Working in what is unprecedented times with the Coronavirus crisis, literally, bringing society across the UK and indeed the world to a standstill it is essential I can work from home. Clearly with Commsworld being a technology company this is a bit of a bus man’s holiday to me and my colleagues. However it is reassuring to know that we can work from home just as we do from any of our offices.
I have quickly rearranged all my onsite premise meetings, many of which have been in my diary for weeks and months, to online collaboration tools we have at our finger tips, such as Microsoft Teams and Mitel MiTeamsMeetings. To be honest I have found this to be easier and more efficient than travelling across cities and I have actually become far more effective in the process.
It also means I can contact and engage with my colleagues, irrespective to where that are situated, most are now at home.
I have had numerous ‘’Commsworld Cobra’’ full blown Video Conferencing meetings, often at the drop of a hat, with our Executive Board and Investors which has enabled quick and decisive actions to be agreed and implemented.
So while I agree Working from Home does not replace actual human engagement there is no doubt, particularly in crisis situations such as this, it is a critical Business Continuity and Flexible way to work.
This crisis underlines the reason the UK requires World Class Connectivity and why Full Fibre infrastructure is such an important aspect to all our lives.
"My door is always open" is a phrase I use regularly, often to a fault! Some days my office is like a drop-in centre, with people arriving every half hour asking "can I pick your brain" or "just a quick one for you...". Having said that, the thing I enjoy most about my job is engaging with my team and the rest of the business, so while my open door policy may sometimes feel like a burden, it's one I carry willingly.
Working from home for me is proper productivity time - less distractions (so long as the kids are occupied). Most evenings I can be found in my study clearing up the loose ends from the day, or cracking out a piece of work that requires more focus than I can get with half-hourly interruptions. Bliss! However I know I'm going to sorely miss the water-cooler chat, so my team is planning to implement 'Gin O'clock' where we all pour a G&T at 4pm and get on a Teams video conference from our home offices! Nobody needs to drive home, so why not?!