Wimbart Ways – Staying connected while working from home
With much of the world’s businesses forced to work from home while COVID-19 is contained, many of us have found ourselves quickly having to get used to working remotely with our colleagues. For some members of Team Wimbart this was quite an adjustment. By day two of lockdown, there were shouts of “Not gonna lie, I miss you guys man. I really don’t like this!!” It was a pain some of us could relate to, while for others it felt like a great way to avoid commuting for a while.
For many businesses, this will be their new normal indefinitely, for others it’s only temporary. Either way we’ve noted some of the things that we’ve put in place to make sure that working from home isn’t unbearable. Normal life may be on pause, but the work continues, and we’ve found ways to make it fun.
- Daily team update meetings
The Wimbart fam, like many other businesses, usually start the day with a daily stand-up. These meetings provide a space to communicate important information, see how particular activities are progressing and can pitch in to support each other by sharing ideas. Over the past 7 weeks these meetings have moved online, and with them have come virtual backgrounds, a few headscarves, and arguments about which platform is the best to use – the jury is still out on that one.
Whether on Zoom, Google Meet, or even Workplace by Facebook, these meetings help the team connect at the start of the day, which is essential to achieving shared goals and objectives. Whichever platform is your weapon of choice, inject some fun in your daily ‘standups’ with a healthy dose of shade, banter and buckets of collaboration.
- Be vocal in work channels.
Maintaining communication throughout the day helps keep focus and reminds us all that we’re not alone. Staying connected during these challenging times is essential. We use Slack which makes communicating fun and effective. We can discuss plans and share ideas in our client-specific channels, and we can also share memes, GIFs and Nollywood film recommendations in other channels. With the back and forths that take place about the latest changes in the African start-up landscape, trending topics on Twitter, and the best way to stop eating snacks, it almost feels like we’re back in the office – and the days fly by.
- Sharing daily goals and maintaining our routine.
Boundaries and maintaining a personal schedule is an essential when working from home to help start and end the day right. Scheduling your entire day ahead of time helps outline productivity goals and gives you a time frame for completing tasks. Maintaining a routine like this also keeps us accountable, so that while the Nollywood association is vocal in the group channels, there’s no risk of slipping into a binge in the middle of the day. A schedule also helps the workaholics amongst us to slot in the other tasks that we should all do during the day like preparing meals rather than scoffing jaffa cakes, or looking after the kids (if they have them).
- Jumping on a call
There is nothing we love more than having a quick phone call to iron out some details. Team Wimbart are a dynamic bunch, and some of us miss being able to exercise our vocal chords the way we used to. Moreover, even though we communicate for a living, it’s far too easy for things to get lost in translation. Video calls also do the trick, and it’s always nice to set eyes on a familiar face, and even though we’re all at home, we always keep it professional. Some people stay comfortable but camera ready by keep their wigs handy #AlwaysPrepared.
Whether on or off camera, the occasional call is a great way to keep things moving and is a nice way to break up the day.
- Bringing office traditions online
It took some getting used to working from home, the thing we missed most was experiencing things together on a daily basis whether that’s celebrating big wins or impromptu debates about our various cultural cuisines. However, not only have we managed to have some excellent ‘office’ banter while online, we’ve also managed to uphold long standing traditions like #DJWimbartFriday. Covid-19 has not been able to stop us all tuning in on a Friday afternoon to hear our favourite
Afrobeats tunes, while we work.