Uplight is no stranger to working remotely across several time zones and countries. We have six offices in Seattle, Boston, Boulder, Denver, Vancouver, and Pune, and many employees work from home (WFH) either periodically or all of the time. Now, like many other companies and organizations, we are all working from home for the next few weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus. And many of us have kids home from school–adding a whole new level of challenge to our days! Here are a few helpful tips from the Uplight team.
Have the company set WFH norms
This can be uncharted territory for many companies where working from home isn’t part of the culture. Uplight’s People Squad (HR team) sent out best practices to all employees including dedicating a work space, taking breaks, over-communicating, and creating a schedule. We’ve also prioritized acknowledgment and gratitude for things our co-workers do–every little bit helps in a time like this!
Prioritize mental health
In this uncertain time, Uplight recognizes that employees might have a lot of emotions including anxiety and stress–and it’s important to address these. We’ve encouraged employees to proactively stay healthy, workout, go on walks, take your dog for a walk, check in on our neighbors, play with kids, have a virtual coffee chat, do a workout, and more to stay sane.
Leverage technology to stay connected
More than ever before we at Uplight are relying on technology to keep us all connected and working together on serving our utility customers. We use Slack for messaging and Zoom for video calls (with the video on, even if haven’t brushed your hair yet.) With everyone remote, we’ve also created a few non-work related Slack channels–enabling us to be more inclusive and engaged across all offices as employees talk about and do yoga, pushups, gaming, and more. Employees are also organizing virtual lunches, book clubs, happy hours, coffee breaks, and board games. In fact, many of us are talking to more people than we were before across more offices and squads!
Kids are part of the equation
There is no need to apologize if your kid jumps into the screen of your video call or you can hear them in the background. We are all in this together. Many families are working split schedules to accommodate looking after kids. It’s critical to communicate any schedule changes to teams so they know when to get a hold of you.
As we all navigate this new normal, we at Uplight are learning more each day about working together remotely. During this time, it is inspiring to work for a company dedicated to creating a more sustainable planet. And when we are able to go back to our offices, we will be equipped with a stronger connection to each other and a better understanding of how to work remotely.