MarketMakers WFH– 7 weeks on

May 07, 2020 14:21:30 PM

communication COVID-19 Facing Challenges WFH working from home

As we finish our 7th week working from home (wow – time has flown!) We have taken some time out to reflect on how working remotely has influenced our team, our productivity, results and the business as a whole.

For people who don’t know much about us, MarketMakers is a people led business, our values are based around working as a team, having a great time, working on our personal development and delivering the best results for our clients. We are based at Lakeside North Harbour, in a bustling office of 300 individuals. Our business ethos is involved around communication and interaction, telemarketing can be a really challenging role at times and our team thrive on working amongst the best telemarketers in a driven environment. We adopt an open door policy across the business, meaning Team Managers and Department Managers sit on the sales floor, with their teams.

So, as you can imagine, shifting to working remotely was a really big change for us. Here’s is a look into some of the challenges we have faced over the past 7 weeks and how we have overcome them:

MM WFH

Managing work/life balance

  • Establish working hours – we understand working from home can give some of us more flexibility with our working hours, but it’s really important to make sure those 8-hour days don’t creep up to 10 hours. Making plans for the evening (to go for a walk, watch a film) will help you switch your mind our of work mode.
  • Take breaks – it’s really important to use your time at home, how you would in the office. Lunch breaks are really important to give your body the fuel it needs to stay proactive.
  • Establish workspace – and let your family or house mates know about this space! Ideally your work space will be separate from the area where you relax, but we understand this isn’t always possible, so we have encouraged the team to find a workspace that suits them and enables them to focus on their day.

Communicating with the team effectively

We spoke to one of our senior team managers, Amy Cooke, on how she has been communicating with her team:

“Since working from home, my team and I have been able to adapt our style of working and maintain our team spirit. We have done this by implementing a few key rhythms during the day. Firstly, we meet 3 times a day on teams, we all have our cameras on, no matter how much of a bad hair day we are having! During the first buzz session of the day we have a brief catch up and set pledges for the day focused on performance. Beth, my assistant team manager, then takes the lunch time buzz, during this we talk through our morning, share best practise, talk through any challenges and then play a game to gear us up and for the afternoon. We then meet at 5:20 for a quick wind down and check in with each other before logging off. Our main rule during all of the buzz sessions is the language used by everyone, our team understand that when describing their day it should be in line with the following:  Ownership, accountability, responsibility. This means as a team we are able to come up with proactive solutions to any challenges we have faced.

During the day I will touch base with everyone on a 121 basis as well, just to ensure they know I am here for support and to help them should they need anything. I am super proud of my team for how they have adapted seamlessly and continued to perform! These small actions have definitely supported our success.”

Maintaining productivity and reaching our goals

  • List your weekly and daily goals – list what you need to achieve that day/week and tick things off as you achieve them. This is a healthy way of keeping a positive, proactive mindset and also keeping you on top of your most important tasks.
  • Share your successes with the rest of the team – in the office, we are always making it known when we have scored a lead or appointment. This should be no different when working from home! MS Teams has been a great space for us to have group team chats to share successes and praise.
  • Arrange daily debriefs with other key members of your team – this gives you the chance to really reflect on what you have done in that day and how it will impact on other areas of the business

Working from home with children

We spoke to our head of SME operations, Ava Lewis on how she has been working from home in the company of her little boy, Louis.

“I was sceptical about working from home with a 3-year-old. While the thought of spending the time with Louis was great, what I didn’t realise is how challenging it would be working in a fast pace role with a child that needs attention.  It is great being able to spend so much time with my little boy, I only took 7 months maternity leave so being able to see him all day has been a privilege and something I am unlikely to be able to do again. For this reason I have consciously embraced this new way of working.

That said, it has not been without its challenges. Social distancing measures have meant our usual childcare arrangements, both family support and nursery have stopped. To counter this we have had to establish a routine to manage the needs and development of Louis, whilst ensuring we could both meet the objectives of our role. My partner is a key worker within the forces involved in supporting COVID-19 personnel requests. This gave us no time to implement a routine, we just got better at it as each day passed. Like all of us, we have had to adapt to this new normal pretty quickly, and the first few weeks were pretty tough; Louis was naturally seeking our attention and probably confused as to why he wasn’t in his normal routine. I have been very fortunate with the support and flexibility that MarketMakers have given me; when I have had to move a meeting due to childcare commitments, there has been no issues which is reassuring. To make it work as well as it has, my partner and I have ensured that we respect each other’s work and time. I typically have busier mornings so we tend to swap before lunch. We both have a different workspace, so should we both need to be in meetings at the same time we have the ability to do this – depending on what Louis is doing of course (usually this is when I am grateful for Steve Jobs invention of the iPad!). Without question, balance has been the key for success. My partner is obsessed with exercise  and has pushed me to work out every day with him. This has really helped us both physically and mentally. I also use my ‘1-hour daily exercise hour’ for walking first thing in the morning; this helps me clear my mind and set me up for the day ahead. This has certainly been a time in my life I will look back on with primarily fond memories. Seeing Louis each and every day is a privilege I will be forever grateful for, and I am thankful to MarketMakers for giving me the space to be a working Mum. P.S I cannot wait to see my MarketMakers team in person though, rather than through a screen!”

The past 7 weeks haven’t come without their challenges, but we are really proud of the MarketMakers team for pulling together, staying positive and continuing to deliver results. Whilst we are not planning just yet to switch our operation back to the office, we are looking forward to the day we are all back together again.  It’s also likely that more of us will work from home on a regular basis in the longer term future, giving a better work life balance, which is always a good thing!

 

 

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