‘I miss my office chair’
Just one of the very many extraordinary things that have been said in these last few months as everything we all knew about how to work has been thrown up into the air.
We are all used to hearing the mantra ‘change is constant’ but it has never felt so vivid as in the days since the lockdown got announced in March. We’re living a new construct of normal to adapt to the challenging times we’re experiencing. Part of that change included migrating from the office to the comfort of our own homes to carry on with the job, adapting to a new life of perhaps walking only a few steps to get to the office, now situated in the living room, home office or kitchen! This change has been integral to ensuring people’s safety and well-being across the company. Suits have been swapped out for sweatpants, ergonomic office chairs for sofa’s, and the artisan coffee we’re used to taking in the morning may have been substituted for instant (or vice versa), but work continues, and some are busier than ever!
This adaptation to our working lives has been experienced differently by everyone. The key to the success of supporting people has been to take a more individual approach to situations, recognizing the unique and disruptive challenges that each of our nearly 900 employees are facing. Here are some of Irdeto’s game changers:
- Increasing communication between our Executive Committee and our people on plans and procedures leading to higher levels of alignment.
- Setting up information groups on our internal communication channels to provide updates and inspiration whilst at home.
- Hosting Friday borrels (after-work drinks), Jam Sessions (knowledge sharing sessions), language chats, scavenger hunts, and online celebrations via Zoom.
- Creating fun videos and challenges (like our ‘Irdeto has got the love-song’ or the ‘competition for the best zoom background picture’) for our employees to participate and feel connected.
- Providing well-being resources that our employees can use to alleviate the pressures and migration of working from home (like Employee Assistance Programs, online classes for kids, mental and physical workouts, and personal coaching).
- Offering employees to work flexible hours to take care of their children when home-schooling.
- Sending pulse surveys to gather feedback on how we can continue supporting our temporary remote workforce, and to learn from the current constraints to build flex opportunities for the future.
- Safety first: clear safety, sickness, and contingency protocols for phased office returns.
- A flawless digital environment.
At Irdeto, we have aspired to make the transition to our ‘new normal’ as smooth as we feasibly can for our employees, to allow as little disruption as possible, and with higher engagement levels than before the lockdown, we can call this a joint success and are very proud of our incredibly flexible, loyal and committed Irdeto family. We asked our employees, from a variety of departments, how they have been working at home and how their routines may have changed. Find out what they have to say below:
Partnership & Business Development Director, Singapore – APAC
“I am very pleased to say that it has worked out very well for me. I was lucky that I don’t have young kids at home so to me, working from home (WFH) allows me the time to be focused and concentrated on achieving the result planned. It gives me the ability to get away from the distractions in the office environment.
The IT security that the company put in place to embrace safe connectivity and easy access for company information is important. The creation of a COVID-19 Yammer group to share ideas on how to best maintain a work and life balance when WFH and managers reaching out to make sure we are all doing well, shows the company cares about the employees. The training courses on time management organized by the Learning and Development team were insightful. These are very important to keep you going knowing you are not alone! I like the idea that everybody shares different ideas, whether it is on the Yammer groups or among your team, to tackle similar challenges we are all facing WFH.
To me, to stay focused and concentrated, I need to have a place set up for myself at home to allow that. That’s why I hijacked my dining table at home and turned it into my work zone!
The most important thing I learned from WFH is staying professional even though you WFH. So, dress up and look professional on Zoom with your customers and partners, provide good video and audio quality on Zoom and make sure you turn on the video when you talk to people. Time management and planning are key to have when you WFH. You need to have a To-Do List each day to outline what you want to accomplish on the day with time you set aside for each job. I find it effective if you allow 45-min time for each task and you crack on with your list. Most importantly, you need to know when to stop and pull yourself off work when you WFH.
It has not been easy when it comes to change. People said it will normally take 66 days to adapt to a change or form a habit, and I think a lot of us are fitting in better now with the WFH change. Otherwise, sharing your challenges with your manager and team members will always be helpful.”
Designer and Creative Manager, Hoofddorp – EMEA
“The change that I have experienced has been positive. I had already started to work partly from home before the COVID-19 outbreak. The most significant change I experienced was talking with my colleagues via Zoom rather than face-to-face as we used to have regular coffee meetings in the mornings.
The first change I made in order to work effectively was to buy a new desk to work from. Irdeto provided me with the ability to move my work screens into my home to allow for ergonomic working conditions. This enables me to carry out my tasks as I would at the office.
One tip I would advise is that if you are alone, try to embrace the silence around you – use that peace to focus on projects you don’t usually have the time for at the office. One luxury of working from home is that you don’t have people dropping by your desk, so you have absolute focus at home. Another tip I have found that keeps the team working well together is organizing calls at least once a week to talk about fun things and have call topics so that you can have some sort of ‘water-cooler’ conversation. Staying connected is key!”
Engineering Manager, Core Tech – Ottawa, Northern America
“The change from office to WFH has been mixed. I miss the daily interactions with the team and others in the office. I miss being able to sit and have coffee or a chat with someone other than my family. The biggest adjustment has been with the distractions. My days have always been interruption-driven, but now I have a whole other set of interruptions… three kids, ranging between seven and 14, and a dog! Add homeschooling on top and it’s a lot to manage.
All that said, the extra time I get to spend with my family means so much! Getting to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together is special. I don’t have commute times in the morning or afternoon and I can go for a family bike ride or walk when I have a break – all this is time we never had before and it means so much to all of us.
Zoom and Slack have been essential to my WFH. I spend most of my days on calls and/or chats. Zoom allows me to keep face-to-face contact with the team. Context and meaning can be easily lost in phone calls or text chats. Being able to see someone’s facial expressions helps with my understanding of conversations. At home, I have a simple innovation to reduce distractions – a “Do Not Disturb” sign that hangs on the doorknob when I have a meeting. It is amazing how a piece of paper and some tape has changed my workdays!
Advice from a book – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and it’s all Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. It can be easy to stress about all the new distractions. An unscheduled internet outage, a kid jumping into your meeting, a cat crawling on your computer, or a dog barking for no reason at all. It’s important to remember that we are all going through this together. We all have new distractions and we are all trying to figure out this new world. We understand what you are going through.”
Everyone has their own way of adapting to the changing times around us, finding new ways to work and overcome certain adjustments to their routine. We’re striving to support our employees in these times of change and ensure that they have access to the necessary resources and facilities they need to continue their day to day lives. We’re still learning about what’s best for each and every one of us, but together, we can build stronger bonds and connections through communication, fun, and being considerate of one another’s well-being.