What a wild year we have had. No one could ever have predicted the astronomical outcomes of Covid-19. So many businesses have been forced to change everything about their business and adapt to survive or risk failure. Today I will share Jasco’s story of how we have gotten through lockdown both successfully and productively as a team.
For some context, I started at Jasco in March this year in an office with 4 people when the normal number exceeds 40+. Walking into an empty office for my first day was one of the strangest feelings. All other employees had begun working hard from home on their own devices to ensure the safety of all staff. The office was just no longer an option as cases began to ramp up for the majority of the staff. Jasco’s main goal was the safety and wellbeing of their staff so this decision was an easy one.
After my first few weeks in office, it became mandatory for all staff to work from home whenever they could. Jasco made it extremely easy to do so, allowing us to take all our work devices home to create our own home offices and even buying essential items for staff like office chairs if they required them. Following my last day in the office, walking out with monitors and laptops in hand no one was ever to know the extent of how long remote work would be implemented for, making it a somewhat scary process.
Working remotely was difficult at the start due to the fact it was difficult to differentiate between the work and life balance because we were only allowed to leave the house for essential services.
But after a while, it has become a process that we have been able to embrace and prosper in. Utilising Microsoft Teams, we have been able to stay in touch consistently with all our colleagues and work friends to ensure work gets completed and we continue to socialize.
Jasco was able to do its best to create the most normal environment possible for us working remotely without feeling remote. Having constant check-ups with staff members, department meetings, friendly chats, and collaborative tasks ensured we were able to stick together as a family away from the office. The social side of things was further enhanced by the weekly virtual lunches, held so that everyone could get the feeling of sitting in the kitchen catching up whist in our own kitchens. Furthermore, many trivia and game nights have been scattered through the schedule to ensure no staff members have been left without some fun at the end of their week. These have currently replaced the in-house game nights or work drinks with virtual ones through Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft has enabled our remote work process through their various applications and services to ensure we could work as efficiently and effectively as possible. Using SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams has enabled us to work from home as if we were in the office. Having our systems and environment ready for remote work was a major advantage of the smooth transition to remote work, majorly due to the fact we didn’t have to scramble to accommodate for the changes like many other organisations. Windows Virtual Desktop has also been an amazing application for many staff who can mirror their work pcs if required to ensure work never stops due to technical issues.
Being able to utilise all these great applications has made working from home a breeze. Even though we would all prefer to be in the office chatting with our friends and working in-house, this has been the next best thing and has been able to keep our family together.