Remote working during a pandemic & how a telephone answering service can help

By Laura_Donohue

July 10, 2020

Remote working and working from home comes with great benefits. You don’t have to squeeze yourself into a train, bus, or tram or sit in traffic. From the time saved by commuting, you can take a little extra time in the morning to get yourself ready for the day. It can also be more comfortable to work from home. I’m currently writing this post from my comfy couch with my cat sitting next to me. However, remote working has its downsides. With lockdown still in effect, many have been feeling lonely and isolated due to being stuck at home.

Working from home means you can get a bit of extra help to write emails!
Working from home means you can get a bit of extra help to write emails!

Remote working can be tough, especially during a pandemic

In Buffer’s 2020 remote working report (pre-Coronavirus), they surveyed 3,500 remote workers. In terms of remote working, a total of 40% of workers reported that collaboration, communication, and loneliness were their biggest struggles. In a report by Hubble in which 1,000 employees were surveys, 75% of respondents said lack of social interaction is one of their top three dislikes about working from home. It’s easy to see how suddenly shifting to remote working with its associated challenges and the stress of dealing with the pandemic itself can lead to employees feeling a new level of anxiety. There has also been an increase in the struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Maintaining a work-life balance more difficult than ever

This is the first time people have had to work during a pandemic of this scale. For many, it’s the first time they’ve worked remotely for an extended period of time. Many don’t have the space to set up a dedicated work area, leaving them to set up work stations in their bedrooms or their kitchen table. In addition to the issues, parents have had to balance work with homeschooling and additional childcare responsibilities. 

Stress at work has always been an issue for many workers. However, stress is now invading their homes. In the same Hubble report, 34.2% said they lack work-life balance and 23.8% have noticed an increase in distractions. Finally, teams that aren’t used to working remotely are now forced to be apart. For teams who are used to working apart, their go-to strategies of team building have been scrapped. Now more than ever, managers and business owners need to prioritise their employees’ mental health and come up with creative solutions.

How Verbatim is prioritising our staff’s wellbeing

For us, the transition to 100% remote was a big change. Our staff spends the majority of their time in the office answering your phone calls. They enjoyed being in the office, especially when new sweets were left out! We’re a friendly, chatty, and outgoing bunch who thrive when we’re together. When lockdown came into effect, many of our call handlers, understandably, began feeling isolated and lonely. After all, talking to people is our passion! We came up with a few creative solutions to ensure our staff remained connected and felt appreciated for their hard work. 

For starters, we regularly delivered sweets to our staff’s homes. We also provided web cameras so we could see everyone’s smiling faces during meetings. Staff also use them to keep in touch with one another. Microsoft Teams has been a boon for promoting communication, both business and a bit of office fun. Some have missed the office so much that we’ve created a rota so that a limited amount of staff can safely come back to the office. Finally, we’re hoping to enjoy the British summer with outdoor socially distanced office meetups.

Struggling to focus on what matters? We can help! 

During this extraordinarily difficult time, customers and employees are looking for reassurance and stability. We can help you with ensuring every customer’s call gets answered and they get the information they need. Whether if it’s taking down an order, an appointment, or providing them with information about your services, we do it all. We can handle your calls while you spend time supporting your employees and pursuing your passion. Feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Get in touch with us and we’ll identify the right service for your business.

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