I'm finally engaged!
I'm sure reading that gave you pause, huh? Well, it's true! After a couple of weeks on the struggle bus trying to juggle work, kids, online school, navigating ways to find groceries, etc., I realized that I'm finally engaged… at work, that is.
I came across this quote the other day, and it stuck with me: "When everything is uncertain, everything that is important becomes clear." My work, what I've referred to as my calling, is becoming more evident than ever. What's becoming clear to you?
Even though I feel like a hamster on a wheel, my role at Smarter Systems has stayed constant. It is the one part of my day that I can totally engage in, and it feels somewhat comforting. With this new epiphany, I wanted to share my thoughts that may help you as you are treading water.
Three Ways to Stay Engaged Working from Home
I find it is so important to check in daily, not just with my team, but my coworkers. We are all still pushing forward, so it is more important than ever to stay connected. I have found getting quick meetings (10-15 minutes) penciled in on my calendar helps keep me accountable to have these necessary touch-points. I use this time not only to discuss projects and pipeline, but to make sure my coworkers are doing ok. We are all scared and uncertain, but the one bond we share is delivering successful projects to our clients- so hopefully, we can find comfort in that fact. Since the state of this pandemic seems to change daily, I feel this time spent "engaging" with the team will only help ease some angst.
This also humanize me. They see me in real time, with all that I have happening in my life going on around me. You see here where my toddler joined my call with our leadership team.
Take Advantage of Technology
Don't be afraid of it! Now is the time to embrace technology to really feel connected. We use Microsoft Teams for our audio/video conferencing. It's nice to see a familiar face on the other end. This platform also allows us to pull others into the call should we need to bring in another expert. We can also easily invite our customer and/or business partners to join in on the discussion. The ability to make Teams calls from our computers or phones is another added bonus. And I'm really appreciative of my makeshift home office, which has a nice big extra monitor so I can have my content on one screen and video on the other.
PRO TIP: Make sure you're looking at your webcam and not always at your other screen unless you only want your audience to see your side profile.
As we all know, this work from home scenario (and maybe a few kids at home with you) is new to a lot of us. That said, make sure you are setting the right expectations with your team and your clients alike. Every conference call I have begins a little something like this, "I'm now a work from home/homeschool mama so if you hear the chaos in the background it's just my boys fighting or tearing the house apart so please give me some grace." We then chuckle because most of us are in the same boat.
It is also essential that your team knows what you expect of them, how they should best communicate, how many hours they should be working, what hours best suit business needs, etc. Taking the guesswork out of the workday will ease the tension. But it's also a two-way street. Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure you are giving them an opportunity to set their expectations of you.
I hope these little tidbits will help you enjoy your engagement. After all, we'll soon jump back into our daily routines at the office, and the honeymoon phase can begin!
Still struggling? Make sure you check out the 13 things I do every day to keep my sanity.