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Our 4 Top Working from Home Tips for Liberty and illumin Users
Did you expect to love the flexibility of working from home, or is it your idea of a nightmare? Have you found that you are enjoying your new work environment but finding it more of a challenge than you expected? Are you juggling other tasks like childcare or home schooling, or tempted to “just do xyz because it is distracting me”?
We get it! Softlink IC’s staff are working from home most of the time but make sure we keep in contact with each other regularly. Sometimes it’s not quite as easy as walking up to a colleague’s desk, seeing their reactions, and getting feedback or advice quickly. For our Liberty and illumin users facing the same situation, here’s four of our top working from home tips.
1. Agree on a schedule
Whether working from home or in the office, a schedule is important. Whilst we now work from home predominantly, we all agreed the schedule may need to be more flexible. Balancing acts of home, childcare, and work has put pressure on many of us which needs to be considered.
It has been an interesting change. We have found we worked longer hours at home than in the office on some days. On others, distractions mean working the requisite number of hours can be difficult. Determining what tasks each of us needed to work on each day has been useful. As it is in the office, we found that most of the time we meet our scheduled deadlines, and occasionally we don’t. What we have discovered is that our expected output has not dropped.
2. Keep connected with colleagues
Softlink IC staff know what it’s like to work from home. It can feel like we are removed from the center of the action. To overcome that, we all go into the office at some point every week. As everyone’s schedules don’t always overlap it can be several weeks before everyone in the team catches up.
That doesn’t mean we don’t communicate. Virtual meetings for tasks aside, we ensure we catch up for a social get togethers. Examples of that include a regular virtual drinks meeting on Friday afternoons, and regular lunch time meet ups for a game of trivia. Needless to say, some of us are better at it than others!.
Technology is one of the greatest partners we all have. We use Teams, video conferencing, text messaging, and e-mail to stay in touch with each other and our customers. Some of us have added a chat system to their phone. This means that staff who are balancing child, or parent care, can send a quick message if they are away from their PC for a short time. Mobile devices are a little piece of magic in our hands!
3. Identify what can be done just as well at home
No doubt it has been as much a learning experience for you as for us. We found the key was good planning and appropriate technology tools. After a few minor teething problems, we found our tasks and projects could be done successfully from home.
We can remain in regular contact with customers from home. This is larglely due to our use of mobile devices, communication software and email. We identified all the tasks we could complete working from home including:
- Talking to customers.
- Product demonstrations.
For Softlink IC’s library customers, circulation of hard copy items is challenging or currently not possible. However, as both Liberty and illumin are cloud-based systems, many of your tasks can be done remotely. For example:
- Complete research tasks.
- Supply electronic materials.
- Catch up on housekeeping tasks – deleting obsolete authority records, reviewing collections, updating user records.
- Maintain regular contact with your library’s users.
4. Cut yourself some slack!
When you are working from home, not every day is going to go as well as you planned or scheduled. It helps to remember that the same could be said when we work permanently in the office. Sometimes things just don’t go to plan, no matter what you do or where you work. So, cut yourself some slack like we do.
Identify all the tasks you can do from home. Be flexible with schedules. With the right technological tools, you can do much of what needs to be done no matter where you are located.
For us, it also highlighted the importance of maintaining connections with work colleagues as we do with you, our customers. We get that many of you are still working from home and it can be challenging. But as you know, both Liberty and illumin are well suited to staff working remotely. Together with other forms of technology we can all seek help, deliver help, keep in contact, plan, brainstorm, and socialize virtually. We hope you find these working from home tips useful!
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