As part of my role as Chief Evangelist here at Peakon, I get to speak with many different people within organizations, from CEOs to managers and employees. In our new series In Conversation with Patrick Cournoyer, we decided to record some of these exchanges and share them with you.
Over the past few months, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the world of work. How and where we perform our roles has been forever changed — and remote working is now no longer just a trend, but a new reality for the future of work.
These changes have been experienced by team members at all levels of organizations in differing ways. In this series, we’ll be talking to employees, people leaders and CEOs — plus featuring some voices of team members here at Peakon — to explore how their experiences compare.
In this first episode, we’ll be taking a look at the challenges the world of work is facing through the lens of the employee. I speak to Matt Orozco, an Account Director here at Peakon, who has been working remotely for a large part of his career on the key takeaways from his experience. Hit play below to hear the whole conversation.
“People don’t get that much done in an office. If you look at the numbers around productivity anyway, we spend eight or nine hours in an office but you’re really only working for four to six of them.”Matt Orozco, Account Director at Peakon
5 things we learned from Matt about remote working
Matt’s remote working lifestyle suits his family needs
When Matt first started working in HR technology, his sales territory was on the east coast of the US, while his office was on the west coast — so he ended up working remotely the majority of the time. Matt made this work for a while, but in 2016, he moved to Arizona with his partner, who was starting medical school. “I wanted to be able to support my partner through her journey and at the same time,” he says. Making the jump to going fully remote meant that he could prioritize both his family needs and his professional ones.
Having the right technology is vital to develop and maintain connections remotely
When asked about cultivating social ties whilst working remotely, Matt shares that communication tools such as Zoom and Slack have been instrumental to “create a sense of familiarity” and foster relationships between teams. Having the right communication tools at his disposal means Matt feels he has “the chance to create a connection that we didn’t have before.”
Find a routine that makes work work for you
When it comes to remote working, your organization can provide all the tools, but only you as an individual can decide on how your work fits into your lifestyle, Matt says.
Matt has previously pressured himself to work longer and harder than he would have in an office environment as he felt that he needed to show he was productive, and was “given the opportunity to work remotely and didn’t want to squander it”. However, over time, he has learned to prioritize his own wellbeing and personal life alongside that of his workload — and that includes recognizing when he needs to take a break and re-energize.
Create a designated office space
Working from the couch might seem tempting right now, but Matt advises that if possible, remote workers should try to create a separate workspace in their homes, because it “helps create this distance between where you live and where you work”.
But don’t feel you need to change your home around or remove all personal touches when creating this space, Matt says. Your home offers a glimpse into your personality, and “helps people understand and appreciate you as a person”.
People will have a greater appreciation for the office environment
When asked whether he thinks that more people will work remotely once these times have passed, Matt says “yes and no”. He believes that more people in different roles will have the opportunity to work remotely if they like, but that also people will develop more of an appreciation for the office environment.
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, where I’ll be talking to managers, who will be sharing their insight on managing their teams during the pandemic.