While remote working situations have become the new normal, solutions have become widely available to recreate a communal office experience, experts say.
“It’s not an exaggeration to call this the largest remote work experiment in history, with thousands of companies moving their operations to remote work in the last several weeks, and many professionals actively searching for remote jobs,” said Brie Weiler Reynolds, a career and development manager and coach at Connecticut-based FlexJobs, a job search site that was already geared toward assisting remote, part-time, freelance, and flexible jobs workers, even before the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak.
“We’ve definitely seen a lot of creativity on these new remote teams, and companies being creative to engage their new remote workers and grow a great remote company culture,” Reynolds reports on what her company has seen.
Locally, juggling an adaptation to a space at home is very much the norm, as all employees who are able to work from home have been transitioned there.
But, some workers in industries — such as real estate — that rely on customer service and in-person meetings are finding ways to continue to be productive during the challenges being faced.
“For right now, we’re just on pause,” said Ann Rushlo, executive director of the Mohawk Valley Board of Realtors.
Realtors in the area are following up with clients who will be putting their houses on the market once the restrictions are lifted.
For now, realtors are busy taking continuing education classes, and keeping touch with potential clients who are preparing to buy a home, or sell one.
Like many others they are busy working from home instead of in an office or other public space.
All are looking to the future when things get back to “normal,” she said.
For those working at home, tips Reynolds gives are seemingly designed to foster a sense of office community even while colleagues are scattered.
Among the ideas: creating spreadsheets to keep everyone at the company informed of the difficulties individuals are facing and hosting virtual coffee chats with co-workers.