Working from home – probably the biggest impact COVID-19 has made within organizations. Just think – from your circle of friends or acquaintances, how many have continued their work routine the same as before the pandemic? None, right? Or maybe just a very few.
Regardless of where we are in the world, we’ve all had to adapt to this exotic way of working. Most of us thought that this would last no more than a couple of months. Yet, it’s been already nine months now and the end doesn’t seem to be in near sight.
Not all of us were lucky enough to have the space for a proper office corner, the comfort of undisturbed conference calls, a nice desk with a proper chair. Who of you can’t relate to the image of sitting at a kitchen table, crunched over a small laptop screen? Or that of a Teams call with the camera off, so that your co-workers wouldn’t see that you dialed-in from your bedroom, leaving the “home office” space for the spouse or housemate, who themselves were in a business call?
For sure, the experiences are quasi similar for most of us, yet we might feel curious on how others are dealing with it. We reached out to a few of our colleagues, went up close and personal, trying to find how they are facing this infamous Work from Home experience. With this, we’ll hopefully find ways to learn from each other but also connect and relate with one another. From the positive side of working from home to some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way, we’ve got the rundown on the People of Payvision – At Home.
Managing energy, not time
The thin line between business and private life – if any at all – is the dead ringer mentioned by all colleagues, trying to strike the right work-life balance. It takes a conscious effort to establish clear boundaries when it comes to taking sufficient breaks and not overworking.
“Setting up a personal schedule for breaks and lunch will allow you to cook nice recipes and have a more personalized routine” – Roxane Walsh, Relationship Management
One perk of working from home is that we’re able to take a wide variety of breaks. Roxane finds her balance through meditating, reading a book, getting some fresh air. Doing yoga is an excellent way for her to take a break from the computer screen and check-in with herself.
Eva and her HR team use 'Ommetje', an app which records their walks throughout the day. Walking is great for your mental and physical health, and this walking app is also a fantastic way to bring out your competitive side with you and your colleagues.
Dominique from the same HR team has also highlighted the importance of setting up a proper at-home office. While some of us don’t have the space to have an entire area specifically for work, boosting the Wi-Fi with an adapter, improving your posture with a laptop stand, or even having a mousepad with a wrist-rest can make your working life a little easier while being at home.
Staying in touch with one another
Our Payvisioners greatly miss the office dynamic and social aspect of going to work. Whether it's having a quick catch-up with a colleague at the coffee corner or the lunches at the cafeteria. Not to mention the themed parties and the Friday afternoon drinks at the in-house pub in the sumptuous building facing the Keizergracht canal in central Amsterdam.
“I really miss the face-to-face interaction and casual chats with colleagues. Of course you have team calls and we even have a weekly coffee moment with the full team, but it is just not the same.” – Dominique Klaas, HR
While we can’t see each other in person, we luckily live in a digital age where we can easily access one another with a quick call, text, or email. Manish from our Acquiring operations team feels that he’s enhanced his communications extensively and that he’s more connected to different stakeholders as compared to pre-lockdown. However, he admits that having that human interaction with colleagues is something that can’t be replaced online.
"Luckily, I’ve made some new virtual friends; Adriene and her dog Benji on YouTube, who teach awesome online yoga classes which help me feel relaxed and more present when enjoying my living space " - Eva Griffioen, HR
We also try to bring together all Payvisioners around the world through monthly video calls. This gives us a great opportunity to see and hear from colleagues from other departments whom we’d very rarely get the chance to talk to. Internal updates are the underlying scope of this massive video call, but its real value lays in bringing all employees together, from North America to Asia, and having colleagues informally present new projects and give each other updates, be them business related or not.
Tokens of appreciation
Lars from our Business Development team has shared how one of the biggest difficulties within his team has been trying to establish and maintain relationships with stakeholders. One way that they've tried to overcome this is by having virtual lunches and sending “Speculaas” or “Haagse Hopjes” to contacts who are still stuck in lockdown.
“Since we are all in this together, we need to make the most out of it and look at what we can do and what gives us energy” – Lars Franz, Business Development
At Payvision, we are celebrating our multi-culturalism and the fantastic mix of ethnicities. So we decided to honour them, by celebrating important holidays from all continents and cultures which make up our organization. Whether it’s sending a small gift that is related to the holiday, sending out a holiday greeting card, or even writing an article for our intranet, we’re trying to find ways to not only celebrate but also bring awareness to the various holidays. Going the extra mile to acknowledge these holidays helps us understand each other’s cultures and traditions and makes people feel appreciated, especially during difficult times.
“I’d say based on my experience, the key take home point is to adapt to the new style. Stay in touch with team members, colleagues you work with, but also with colleagues that you get along with – share memes, jokes, music” Manish Raje, Acquiring Operations
With this introspective exercise, we realized that we’ve come a long way and we’ve adapted and overcome the challenges of this new normal. Knowing that we're all in this together can hopefully relieve us in the pressure and stress of knowing whether or not we’re coping the 'right' way.
The silver lining of all of this is that we've had to learn how to slow down and take a minute to not only check in with the ones around us but also to check in with ourselves.