During the current pandemic, many businesses have found themselves plunged into an unknown world of remote working. Employees may have worked the occasional day remotely however to be advised to work full time hours remotely is a significant change for most. Businesses should be aware of the impact a prolonged period of working from home and the limitations on socialising can have on the health and wellbeing of employees, including promoting a healthy work life balance.
In this blog, we will share how the team Ajenta team prepared and are supporting each other through this time.
In late February, as word spread of COVID-19 around the world, Ajenta’s CEO John Wilson, and Chief Operating Officer, Gavin McKenzie took the decision to prepare the business for any impact to our normal operation. Staff were equipped with all IT equipment to allow them to continue with their daily tasks remotely should the time come. A test ‘black out’ scenario was also carried out in early March, closing the office to ensure our business continuity plan was in place and working. It was – all staff could continue to work and the business could operate as normal.
On March 17th, the Ajenta physical office doors closed and staff were asked to work remotely. The transition to this new style of working has been smooth for our team, with agility in our staff and the technology available to us.
Jaclyn Marr, Operations Manager has spearheaded internal awareness on wellbeing during these unprecedented times. Jaclyn said:
“We really want to make sure our staff are coping ok, with both the remote working and the change in lifestyle. As the company HR representative, I have organised one-to-one wellbeing meetings with all staff as well as weekly all staff video calls. Each department is also reaching out to colleagues on a more informal basis. We are also actively encouraging staff to ensure they get fresh air every day, following social distancing guidelines. Our leadership team are flexible if people have a preference to do this during working hours. Mental and physical wellbeing during this time is so important and we want to help our staff as best we can.”Ilias Galanopoulos, Head of Development asks his team to meet once a day for an informal coffee over video, promoting small talk as they would during a normal coffee break in the office. At the end of these breaks, the development team have a quick ‘standup’, where all team members give a brief overview of what they are working on and if they are experiencing any issues of difficulties. Ilias believes this is a great opportunity to knowledge share between the team, discuss solutions and learn from one another. Naturally, there are also instances where one-to-one calls are more appropriate or smaller groups. Vscene is a great resource when the team need to collaborate and share screens with one another. Finally, Ilias adds:
“Project management tools such as Jira are more important than ever when we have remote teams. It is an easy way to assign a task to an individual and a very transparent way for everyone to see what others in the team are working on, how long projects take and objectives for upcoming releases etc.”
Many people will find themselves juggling the role of employee, parent, carer and home-school teacher, all within one day. Embrace the time you have with your loved ones, and don’t stress if one of your little people decides to make a cameo appearance on a video call. You never know, they may just make someone smile on a dark day.
As a business, we believe utilising the correct tools and ensuring regular communication with your staff is key. We are delighted that our business continuity strategy has been successfully deployed and we can continue to serve our customers with the products and support they need.
Some important resources we have shared with our staff can be found below:
- Working at home DSE Assessment
- NHS – Every Mind Matters – 10 tips to help if you are worried about Coronavirus
- Mind – Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- Mental Health Foundation – Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak