One of our top social selling and marketing experts shares how he effectively transitioned to working from home permanently.

1. When the lockdown was first announced back in March, how did you handle the sudden transition to work from home? 

When I first heard the announcement there was certainly a feeling of shock. I have always had structure in my life in the sense of waking up early, having breakfast, getting ready and then commuting to work. Going home having dinner etc. So all of a sudden I was getting out of bed, not getting dressed turning my laptop on etc I felt like a slob to be brutally honest. It was just weird. It took me a good week to find a structure that would make me productive not just from a work aspect but keep me productive outside of that. Daily structure is very important to me.

2. Did you think at the time that you’d still be working from home 6 months later?  

Not at all. I honestly thought it would be a few weeks and it would all blow over, yet here we are, surrounded by a lot of uncertainty. Certainly strange times.

3. What does your daily schedule look like? 

  • I am generally up at 6 am – 6 30 am depending on my daughter who is my alarm clock.
  • Breakfast around 8 30 and login on at 10-ish
  • 1 hour lunch at about 12pm and then get back into the grind
  • Around 4pm, I like to have 1 hour to myself either walk, spend time on the terrace.
  • 5 – 7 pm then dinner and then finish with a 2 hour power session of work. Aim is to do my 9-10 hours work with some time to myself so I scatter the day as best as possible.

4. How do you stay connected to your colleagues?

Thanks to Skype and Microsoft Teams, I think the company as a whole has been more connected than ever. As strange as that may seem but we do a fortnightly call with the whole PH team involved. Prior to COVID-19, I don’t think I had ever been on a call with the team in Legazpi. Post-COVID-19 it would be nice to keep that in the calendar and continue it. I am sure as time goes on, it will evolve to a point where everyone is interacting on discussions/topics.

5. What do you do in order to disconnect?   

Disconnecting is certainly an area I need to work on haha. I am a person who is live all the time and I don’t think that would ever change but for a few hours during the day I disconnect from work by just being outside, listening to a podcast. Getting some sun, fresh air etc. Early on in the pandemic, I was making sure I was getting some good exercise (1-hour walk / jog in a day) as I wanted to keep sharp in the mind. Health has a big part in that.

Another way I disconnect is having a general chat to colleagues about anything, common interests, when you are stuck between four walls it is important to keep in contact with friends / colleagues on a social level. Everyone is in the same situation as you, restricted in what we do. So why not go as far as talk about challenges you maybe be having, or what you love about the situation, what are the positive things to come out of this situation? You spend more time with your family. As you know, at MD we are busier than ever …

6. Do you feel more or less productive since you started working from home? 

From a work perspective, I feel more productive than ever. I put that down purely to flexibility. I can break up my day and work around scheduled calls etc. I remember an old boss saying if you can have 2 or 3 power sessions throughout a day where you focus on particular aspect of your role … so in our line of work. Calling / emailing / messaging etc. Example: 1 hour = 20 calls. I like to think having a scattered day kind helps with that.

7. What advice would you give to someone new who joins a remote team from day one?

Have a structure within the day and not just from a work perspective. Basic stuff like give yourself plenty of time to turn on your computer, make a coffee or tea or juice etc. Have in your mind what you want to achieve for the day and it’s imperative that you be proactive, that you communicate with Shai, Liz and Anne and keep them updated, ask questions but also have a some colleagues you can also chat too … social interaction goes along way. You are not in the office so if you cannot be seen, be heard!

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