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WER Webinar – Remote Working: Amidst a Global Pandemic

On Friday, 3rd April, we welcomed our esteemed panel of speakers and participants alike to our second WER Webinar on adaptable working – ‘Remote Working: Amidst a Global Pandemic’, the first half of our two-part session on how to adjust and adapt to working from home, which brought together a panel of remote working experts from the US and EMEA regions to provide their experts tips and tool recommendations, for workers who are having to newly and abruptly adjust to working from home, and remote working, during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning with welcome remarks from European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF) President, Nicholas Zylberglajt, who outlined the session aim and introduced our expert panel including Oriane Pannelier-Tarieul, Product Marketing Manager at Grow with Google (EMEA Region); Tom Ronen, Head of Customer Success at monday.com; Megan Dilley, Director of The Remote Work Association; and Liam Martin, Co-Founder, Co-Organiser & CMO at Time Doctor, Staff.com and Running Remote Conference.

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The session promptly began, with Dilley providing the first insight on how the current situation has impacted the world of remote working, as we have been flung into what some may call the “great remote work experiment,” which has come about more abruptly than remote work advocates have hoped for and without the necessary accommodations made for workers to “be productive.” Outlining the intention of The Remote Work Association – “remote working in a sustainable way,” and introducing the #KeepTheWorldWorking initiative that aims to provide resources and advice to help individuals and companies unexpectedly shifting to remote working, Dilley also iterated that “this is not what remote working is supposed to look like forever.”

Followed by Pannelier-Tarieul who also provided practical advice to our participants on the free online and offline tools and training resources available on Grow with Google and Think with Google to adapt to working from home. With Martin giving an overview of the shift in working culture, speaking from his remote location having spent six weeks in self-isolation, and dubbing this unexpected transition to mass working from home as an “end of the office,” predicting a significant shift in how we work that could bring about “silver linings in this otherwise unfortunate situation,” as illustrated by Ronen who has seen productivity double with one of his teams since they moved to remote working a few weeks ago.

Poll results from the webinar

As well as providing insight into their own company resources, Dilley also provided practical tips on how to build an ‘essential toolkit’ to provide the basic communication means and structure whilst remote working, such as a centralised cloud document drive and shared calendar, a unanimous agreed point between all four speakers. Recommending tools such as Google Docs, GitLab, and Trainual.

With Martin also providing tips on how to modify your at home workspace with simple changes such as investing in a good pair of earphones, a secondary monitor, using apps such as krisp.ai to improve sound quality for calls and video conferencing, and having employers check employee internet speed to measure their capability available online with websites such as Speedtest.net.

As well as offering practical advice for our participants, our speakers also provided valuable insight into the emotional change and impact that some workers are facing due to the sudden shift in working culture such as heightened anxiety, stress, and also an unintended and conflicting overlap between work-life balance. With both Pannelier-Tarieul and Dilley raising the point around working parents, particularly working mothers who act as the primary caregiver in their household, who have experienced a large shift in how their routine to ensure work-life balance that has been derailed over the past few weeks, with school closures and the implementation of working from home in most countries.

“This is not an ideal situation for a lot of people.” – Megan Dilley, Director of The Remote Work Association.

As although some people are thriving in the new way of working remotely from home, there are many that are being burdened by the stress of the situation, and as employers and or leaders it is important to remember the individual humans that make up your team by being mindful of emotional wellbeing, sometimes sub-par workspaces when compared to a traditional office environment, and additional responsibilities staff are facing. With all panellists agreeing that stringent time management of staff to replicate the traditional working office culture, should be avoided to allow individual autonomy, which is proven to not only improve employee wellbeing but also their productivity.

PLAYBACK:

Join us on the 15th April, at 12:00 CET for the second half of our two-part session on adjusting and adapting to remote working in the current global and economic climate.