In the last few days, the idea of working at home as become a real proposition for many and some firms have already asked their employees to stay at home. I have worked from home for many years now and really like it. However, for companies who now ask employees to work at home, this adds some demands to systems and especially the E/CTRM solution being used. Access to the system to continue to conduct your job suddenly becomes potentially more difficult especially if the system is an older solution lacking a web-based UI. Screen scraping solutions do exist of course to get around such issues. Security becomes another concern and ensuring that the solution has adequate security in terms of login and so forth will also be a consideration. So having secure, stable access to the tools to do your job is a primary concern and the E/CTRM will be a big part of that.
Perhaps this sort of a scenario has been thought of in terms of business continuity testing? Perhaps everything is set up and ready to go? The chances are it wasn’t and it isn’t and so there will be some teething issues around system access and desktop access in some instances (where important materials are located on your work desktop sat on the office desk and not necessarily accessible from the laptop you have at home). Another issue is communication. OK the phone and electronic means of communication still exist but having work colleagues around can also be useful and they won’t be around in your home. Slipping into the meeting room for an impromptu isn’t going to work either but virtual meeting rooms can be used. I suspect that this is where having a collaborative aspect to your CTRM is going to suddenly appear important. By using workflow and other collaboration features hopefully built into your CTRM and other software solutions, tasks can be still seamlessly prioritized, tracked, approved and so on. This will prove to be a very handy feature for an impromptu work from home period in terms of keeping the business running. Yesterday, I had a call from Richard Williamson, CEO at Gen10. He told me as of today, Gen10 is working at home offices for the forseeable future. “We use the same sort of software to manage support and task management with collaboration tools built in just like we built into CommOS and our CM solution,” he told me. “They are built off of the same framework platform so for us, working from home will be controlled and managed.”
I find working from home great but over the years, I have discovered a few things that might help you;
- Having the discipline to get up, dress properly and continue with your normal morning routine is very important. Lounging on your bed with laptop or sitting in PJ’s doesn’t seem to get the mind in the right frame to do proper work so anything you can do to stay in a routine seems to help. Go for a short walk around the time you go to the office – for example,
- Try not to work in the bedroom but find another location like the kitchen perhaps. Keep your sleep and work separate or you may find over time, both suffer,
- Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks just because you are home. Being at home means you have other break options too,
- Try to keep your professional work time and chore time separate also – double tasking putting on the washing while trying to work can cause issues,
- Do stay in touch with people via the phone and messaging. It is so easy to just disappear when working at home and lose those connections.
I like it and would find it difficult to go back to an office. I also tend to work longer as I do not need to factor in travel time and I can also juggle time better if I need to go to the doctor or something, I just can work later into the evening. There is one thing I truly miss though. People. There are some days, I realise that I never left the house and didn’t see a real person all day. When that happens, I make an effort to get out – if only for an hour in the evening. Of course, if avoiding the virus, the people contact side of things may simply be no contact anyway for a while.
The other thing that gets to me is how others think about you working at home. It wouldn’t be the first or last time that my daughter has told me I should go play with her when she is home. I tell her I cannot as I’m working. She tells me that ‘sitting on Facebook all day isn’t working’!
This is how she sees my work because I work at home – I am sitting on Facebook!
I wish people paid me to sit on Facebook – but they don’t (although I am certainly open to offers!).