Out of the Office, Not Out of the Loop

Published On: October 26, 2017Categories: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Buzz

Cancer. It is a terrifying word. It commandeers attention: to assess it, react to it, and accept it is real. It is empowering to know, however, that things are being created, implemented – in order to put control back into the person’s hands. By giving the disease less control over a lifestyle, it allows the patient to maintain something extremely important during their treatment: normalcy. With technology and tools today, it is possible to keep up to speed with what is going on at the workplace. It’s possible to meet deadlines, and participate in discussions. What are some of these technologies? What is the key to success for an effective workflow from home? We also will seek some insight from our colleague Patrice Pope who has valuable tips for setting up the optimal home office.

Technology tools are amongst the key players in bringing together remote employees for optimal project alignment. Businesses that offer their employees these types of tools can see a large benefit in workflow, work ethic, and employee output. It is important to note that certain people find it more difficult to work from home, due to distractions. This will come up as an important point later in this article when we revisit the necessities of a dedicated office.

Cisco WebEx and Jabber are extremely popular collaboration tools that enable users to to communicate effectively, enhancing status knowledge due to the ability to communicate across large distances and time zones within a simple internet window. Cool, no? If a meeting is being held but someone is unable to attend, simply record the session and have them catch up on the recording later. Genius.

For a little girl with cancer, the effects can be daunting. Cisco also had a big part in keeping one cancer fighter up-to-date academically and socially with her peers, through iPad and video conferencing technology. See more of Connect and Transform: Peyton’s Story.

For someone recovering from a surgery, or undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, these tools allow employees to heal on their body’s time, but still be aware and work towards their specific deadlines. Flexibility is a major component to a person’s ability to thrive during their treatments. Companies that provide their employees with these tools and options build a positive company sentiment, which boosts employee and job morale extensively. When a company is behind its employees when it comes to health policies, people enjoy working hard for said company.

So, 3 things to remember when building a successful home workspace? Patrice suggests the following:

Create and maintain a dedicated workspace
“Don’t have your workspace be the kitchen counter.” Find a room or an area to set up an area dedicated to work. Keep it away from distractions, and make sure people in your household know that when you are in the office, you are working.

Have a phone dedicated as the Office phone
By having a phone dedicated to work in your home office, this keeps business to business hours. Responding to a client late at night is sometimes difficult NOT to do when you are sitting around the house relaxing. While there are cases of exception, keep a phone (or if there isn’t another line as an option, a specific ringtone) dedicated to work accessible only during work hours.

Set your work hours, and abide to them
This is an important aspect of working from home successfully because it ensures you stay on task and track with hours. Flexibility is a benefit of working from home, so if something came up in the morning, and hours needed to be shifted, it is an easy process to make up for the time missed. Try and maintain set hours for your own benefits, like a normal schedule and so people can access you when they know you are in the office.

Nothing empowers an employee more than the ability to say “I get to decide’” when it comes to their job abilities. They didn’t have a choice if they could leave or take cancer, but they do have a choice when it comes to their career.

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