In next to no time, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of the modern workday. For many professionals, navigating the intricacies of working from home is second nature. For those in the FI space, moving from the back office or corner office to the home office can present challenges ranging from confusion surrounding projects to interpersonal quarrels.
Providing excellent service to account holders can be dependent upon adapting to remote work, which often calls for different strategies than working in the branch. We’ve collected some useful tips for keeping productivity up, keeping relationships healthy, and taking care of yourself in this new landscape so you can keep account holders’ needs top of mind.
Designate your office space
With your laptop in hand, the kitchen island or the sofa may seem like a perfectly adequate place to perch. You may be less likely to succumb to distractions like the cookie jar or tv remote by setting up a dedicated workspace to focus on your tasks at hand. (For folks with kids or roommates, consider finding a space behind closed doors and communicating expectations around interruptions ahead of time.) With the right planning, you may even find yourself completing more projects than usual without the inevitable random disruptions that pop up in the office environment. While you’re at it, make sure you’re doing what you can to make your home office ergonomic, comfortable, and at the same time, a place where you can focus.
Establish a routine
Practicing helpful habits can set the tone for success when helping others from home. Without the structure of the workday–like the expectation to show up appropriately dressed and on time—it can become all too easy to roll out of bed and boot up the computer, unprepared for the day. Veteran remote workers insist maintaining a routine can benefit your sense of well-being and enable you to work efficiently and effectively. Get dressed like you’re going into the office, set a work schedule, get up and move throughout the day, and take regular breaks.
The technology that makes it possible to collaborate with colleagues and serve account holders remotely comes with its particular hurdles. Last-minute meetings in the conference room are likely not an option right now. Without the ability to ask a quick question or benefit from nonverbal cues, it’s crucial to use instant messaging apps, virtual meetings, and email to make sure you get the information you need to stay productive and focused on the most critical projects. Besides maintaining the health of your FI and serving account holders, use these tools to stay connected with your coworkers. The importance of account holder relationships is a cornerstone for FIs – but more than ever, strengthening your coworker relationships can be a vital part of succeeding in this new setting. As you rely on each other during this challenging time, it may help keep your interactions with account holders positive and reassuring.
Make the most of the ‘new normal’
The COVID-19 disruption may unearth opportunities to practice some self-care routines. With hectic morning travel time a thing of the past for now, consider using that time to get up, get out, and get some fresh air (while also being mindful of social distancing). Instead of a hurried fast-food lunch in your car, it’s just a quick trip to the kitchen for a healthy lunch or snack. Replace evening drive time with family time, video chat with a friend, practice yoga and meditation, or work out. Find what works for you; maintaining your mental and physical health during isolation will play a critical role in staying creative, productive, and responsive to the needs of your FI’s account holders and co-workers.