At dinner with friends about 6 weeks ago, we briefly discussed a new virus sweeping through China, killing many of its citizens. At the time, we never imagined this virus would impact our own lives, those of our children, family and friends all around the world.
Almost as quickly as an office rumour about the location of the next company trip, the virus had spread rapidly and become a threat to global health, as we know it. With world powers and governments unsure of what steps to take and how to handle this crisis, Fyber – with several of its employees already in self-isolation – was one of the first companies in Israel to take the courageous step of closing its offices worldwide and initiate remote working for all employees.
There was an initial trepidation of how we would continue to work as a team, without being face-to-face. How we could maintain daily interaction with each of our team members while they are working in their own lounge, home-office or bedroom in different cities across the country (and around the world)? There was of course, the additional horror of discovering we will have to make our own breakfast too! We were encouraged to take home all the equipment we might need – laptops, screens, chairs and cables etc.. to make the transition from working in the office to working from home as smooth as possible. With that, a new hashtag was born – welcome to #WFH!
Once the initial questions had been answered – the most important issue to be addressed was from where can we order our lunch? Thankfully, once we were advised that our lunch delivery service was still working as usual – stress levels were immediately reduced.
Home offices were designed, connections tested, IT issues fixed and so working from home had started.
At the end of the first week of #WFH, the government in Israel decided to add an additional dimension by closing all the schools – so on top of Slack calls, Lifesize calls, dailies, weeklies, product reviews, one-on-ones and team meetings – our kids are with us too. But we could order them a lunch delivery and we had 500 rolls of toilet paper stored – so all was good.
Our HR team checks-in with us regularly, to make sure all Fyber employees are coping well with the situation. We are updated with tips to ensure working from home is a success. It’s important to keep a routine, take regular breaks, eat properly and keep your life organised. It’s especially important to make sure you’re fully dressed when having a conference call – you never know when you may have to jump up suddenly to either open or close a window or answer the door for your lunch delivery.
Personally, a good routine is the best way to ensure successful working from home. A call with your manager, an organised list of tasks for the day and a planned schedule of work time and breaks can provide you with the structure you need to make your working day worthwhile. Get plenty of fresh air too. While the office conference rooms, table-tennis table, smoking corner and dining room lay unused and empty, turning an area in your home into your workspace can be enjoyable, productive and fulfilling.
These uncertain times definitely leave everyone with lots of unanswered questions. We don’t know what the next few weeks will bring – but having a good support system around you – in terms of Fyber Management, HR, IT teams and fellow teammates – we are all pulling together to make sure we can make a success of what the current situation is giving us. It would be a natural progression here to say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade – but you can order a delivery of Lemonade and avoid the mess in your kitchen.
Good luck and stay healthy!