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Blog

Work from home, the SearchElect story

Posted on 16/04/2020 by Alvin Riar

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As all of us in Singapore embark together through the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period, it is important to know that we are all in this together. 

The Covid-19 pandemic might have restricted us in more ways than one, it might have altered our way of life and led us to change our daily routines but know that you are not alone. I have always looked to find the positives in any predicament and this is no different. 

At SearchElect, we strongly believe that our team is our pillar of strength. Our work culture has allowed us to adapt and modify our methods of work and fun for the month ahead to keep up morale and our company goals.

Modern technology has allowed us and the majority of businesses to be as effective as possible while working from home. There ‘will be light at the end of the tunnel’, this period of uncertainty will pass and we will all be stronger from the experience. 

I would like to share some of the challenges faced by my team and how we have managed to overcome it. 

Challenges

Productivity - How productive was my day? It is always a question we ask ourselves whether we are in an office setting or not. While in office, we would take the longer than usual coffee breaks, the extended conversations with our colleagues about things unrelated to office matters and the list goes on. Many of us have also cultivated this habit of working past our office hours but the question we should ask ourselves is why? Is it really your workload or is productivity an issue?

An important tool I have used during this circuit breaker period that has helped me in managing productivity is to have a weekly plan of tasks and work I have to get done. Plan out your days such that you get everything tasked to you settled. Prioritise according to importance and apply this method when you are back in your office setting. 

Motivation - At SearchElect, we have found the motivation to be a big issue while working from home. We can manage to be motivated for a day or 2 but it wears off fast. We decided to have a discussion workshop to solve this issue as a team. 

We came up with a few methods that have worked well for us thus far. We start our mornings like most companies do with a ‘google meet’ team session. We spend a bit of time understanding how each of us is feeling and have a laugh to lighten the mood. We have also created an open communication channel during office hours where we can enter whenever we like to engage with conversations with our colleagues. We also have activities planned every Friday to give the ‘end of work week’ mood. 

Routine - We wake up every morning, we dress up and take our daily commute to our offices. We get into our offices, prepare a fresh cup of coffee, open our laptops and our day begins officially. We look forward to drinks on Fridays and we plan outings for the weekends. Humans are creatures of habit and we all have a routine that we follow. 

With the current COVID 19 situation, we find ourselves struggling to get back into a routine. Our homes that used to act as a getaway from work suddenly become makeshift offices as we practice working from home. We find ourselves in the initial weeks having to adapt and creating new habits. Once you have your new productive routines normalised in this circuit breaker period, you will start to not get affected as much with the cycle of work and life. 

Make work fun

  1. Use this period to let your colleagues know you better, this is the time where you can introduce the side of your life to your colleagues that they might have never known. Give them a mini home tour, introduce your pets or show off your collections. 
  2. Have a drink on Zoom after work with the team, pour a glass of wine, or open a can of beer. The pubs might be closed but the ideology of having a drink together remains the same, it is to destress and bond. 
  3. Organise interactive and creative home activities for your team. Activities and socialisation keep most employees happy and engaged. Put on your thinking caps and have some fun amid the chaos. At SearchElect, plans are already in place to have a ‘Cook-Off Contest’. I have never cooked in my life or been fond of cooking, but I look forward to learning new things. You never know, we might just uncover the next Masterchef. 

Let us know how you and your team are dealing with the current pandemic. Share with us the fun and interactive ways that have helped your team make this experience better.

'The SearchElect Team in high spirits during our Hawaiian themed video call get together.'