A Necessity for Productivity
In the first blog in our “Flatten The Curve” series, we told you about our 8 Tips for Working From Home, and right now I’d like to point out your attention to tip #7: Prep Your Workspace. It probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.
You’re thinking, “Okay, I need a computer, a chair, a decent background for video calls, and my phone. Done!”
There really is more to it than that. According to Libby Sander at the Harvard Business Review, a study found that “when participants cleared clutter from their work environment, they were better able to focus and process information, and their productivity increased”.
Clearing and preparing your work-from-home workspace is necessary for your productivity.
Here are some specific things to pay attention to when you are getting your work-from-home workspace ready for the day.
1. Prep Your Workspace
Just like we mentioned in our previous blog, take a few moments to clean up the area of any extra stuff from the day before, make sure you have the tools you need to get your work done (phone, chargers, pen, paper, etc.), and check to make sure your internet is working.
2. Arrange Non-Desk Workspace Areas
There are a lot of people who are working from kitchen tables and dining tables. These are great spaces to work on because they offer you a lot of space to spread out, but the downside is that you are having to share the area with mealtimes. Take a moment before your day starts and move the napkin holder and the placemats. That jelly jar is just going to end up getting your documents sticky, so set it aside as well.
3. Give Surrounding Areas A Quick Pick-Up
If you are working in your kitchen area or your bedroom, take a few moments to clean up the areas around your workspace. Sander also pointed out in her article that “cluttered spaces can have negative effects on our stress and anxiety levels, as well as our ability to focus”.
When you glance up from your computer to have a moment of creative thought, if you see a heap of dirty laundry on the floor or a pile of unwashed dishes, that creativity is going to fly away as you focus on all the at-home chores you still need to do.
4. Check Your Video Conferencing View
Pull up the webcam on your computer and make sure that the view others will see is professional and clear. No one wants to discuss a pressing issue with the sight of an unmade bed behind you! If your video conferencing tool has a feature which allows for alternate background images, then try that.
5. Keep Your Network Clean
Remember, you are now on your home network – it is not nearly as secure as the network you are on at work. Think about what you are sending out and make sure you are not clicking on something that could create problems (viruses, trojan horses, etc.). Take some time to make sure your computer is set up with security protocols.
Please feel free to reach out to us and we can help you and your team find a perfect balance between traditional and work from home experiences!
Take a minute and think back to the days of cameras that required actual rolls of film.
You remember the drill… you took a picture, and then had to wait for weeks until you’d finished the roll of film, gotten it developed, and then picked it up only to realize that you didn’t even remember taking half of the pictures!
Or maybe you can recall watching your mom print out photos at the Kodak store and then spend her weekend hours carefully arranging them in a photo book. If she was feeling really over the top, maybe she even added in a little caption to go with it or wrote who each person was on the back of the photo in her fluid cursive.
Now, we look forward to the notification from Facebook or TimeHop that shows us what we posted two, three, five, or even ten years ago. That moment or that picture that we’d completely forgotten about pops up.
And those memories can be really encouraging and nostalgic.
- Maybe you’ve lost 100 pounds since that picture someone snagged of you at the family reunion.
- Maybe you were imagining what it would be like to drop everything and move across the world to another country – and you made it happen!
- Maybe you thought back in 2009 that you were at the top of your game, but now you look at your life, job, or family and things are even better than you dreamed.
Better Than Ever…
And that’s exactly what we have seen with Cisco Webex! Recently, we were looking back at our “corporate memories” and rediscovered this news release. Back in 2009, Cisco was glowing over the reports from their Teleworker Survey which revealed that “telecommuting significantly increased employee productivity, work-life flexibility, and job satisfaction”.
Employees raved about higher productivity, improved timeliness, increased collaboration abilities, improvements in overall work quality. Not to mention an improved quality of life and the connection of telecommuting with their overall satisfaction in their job.
And that was in 2009!
The benefits of productivity and efficiency are even more relevant in today’s corporate space. According to an international study by flexible workspace leader International Workplace Group,
50% of employees globally are working outside of their main office
headquarters for at least 2.5 days a week.
Best Is Yet To Come…
That’s a significant amount of teleworking! And it’s because with companies like Cisco Webex providing the right collaboration tools, and Meet Me In The Cloud ready to train, adopt, and support end-users, there is nothing to stop the great work of flexible workspaces and teleworking.
But don’t get stuck in the past and just be satisfied with what you were offering your clients and your employees back in 2009 or 2015 or even just a few months ago! Keep progressing the collaborative journey for your company.
Get in touch with us and our Adoption Services, move out of the past,
and let Meet Me In The Cloud help you transform how your employees work!
Don’t you love hearing a positive review? It makes you feel like you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing. This was what Meet Me In The Cloud heard from our accelerated adoption project with a state and local government. You can read how it all started here.
“When we began rolling out Webex to departments in 2018 it was done without a solid plan to train and engage customers. Those who had previously used the product were able to fend for themselves, but it was clear that those who hadn’t were not aware of all the power of all the available Webex features. After a year small gains had been made but it was mostly through one-on-one and small group sessions. While those had value, we wanted to help customers on a broader scale.
In our first discussion with Meet Me in the Cloud it was clear they could check all the boxes in the areas we considered gaps in a full adoption of Webex. This included custom training sessions, the Microlearning Library that provided feature video tutorials, and weekly check-in sessions with Acceleration Adoption Experts to assist with customer communications and to look over analytics to see the gains we were making. With their help we have gone from 1300 accounts utilized to over 2000 and meetings with video has increased 25% in less than 6 months.
We made the right decision for our organization to partner with Meet Me in the Cloud.”
But was that it? Was it time to part ways? Absolutely not! It was clear for both parties that this was an opportunity to play a strategic role in their collaboration journey – long term. So, after successfully concluding our initial project with the state government IT department, we shifted gears into the Customer-Success-as-a-Managed-Service (CSMS) phase of our partnership.
Because the state desired to improve team collaboration overall, it was a natural fit with MMITC’s CSMS program (you can read more about our CSMS program here). In this alliance, we act as a long-term partner in our customers’ digital transformations.
The initial few months were focused on ensuring that end users were taken care of post-migration to their new Webex site, with trainings targeted to specific user behaviors and collateral designed to make them feel at home with the latest features and functionality. Our partners in the state IT department reported that despite some minor technical hiccups, their user population was adjusting happily to their new Webex environment with very few trouble tickets submitted.
Once the short-term tasks were wrapped up, we were also pleased to be able to turn their eyes towards envisioning what the future of collaboration might look like for the state. While most companies work towards adopting technology, they tend to forget that the biggest thing they are working to adopt is a new mindset.
The mindset about working with new programs, technology, equipment, people, etc. Companies (on the employee level) tend to have push back when talking about “changing things up” and you develop pockets. Pockets of people that jump on to whatever is needed, having a “whatever it takes” mindset. Some pockets dig in their heels and say “I guess if I have to…”. And the other majority pocket mindset says, “It doesn’t matter what they do or get, I’m going to do things the way I want to anyway.”
Remembering that layered into all objectives is the mindset challenge as well, will change how you approach the solution. Expanding to a video-centric collaboration experience through the deployment of Webex room devices was the first objective of our statewide government clients. So, keeping the mindset factor in mind, we know that providing video conferencing tools that add the least amount of “additional steps” to your users increases learning, comfortability, and usage across your business.
“The staff at Meet Me in the Cloud have deep product knowledge, are experienced in driving adoption, and were extremely responsive when questions or concerns arose. Customer feedback for the training sessions was overwhelmingly positive with many remarking that it would be helpful if this model could be used for other products in our service portfolio.”
More and More
Some of our next targets are working around needed locked-down versions of their collaboration tools and becoming more comfortable which means moving at the speed of the cloud. It’s still early on this particular part of the journey so far, but the teams at both the state and MMITC are excited for the future of this alliance and the collaboration of all!
It’s tough enough to roll-out a new online collaboration tool in a small company, but imagine how a state government IT department felt attempting to do this across an entire state! This is just what Meet Me In the Cloud discovered when talking with the IT department who wanted to coordinate a statewide Webex Training plan to drive Webex adoption across all state agencies. They wanted to do this roll-out before moving all employees to a new cloud based Webex site managed in their new Cisco Webex Control Hub. And to all parties involved, this sounded like a great plan!
Statewide Technology Adoption: Much Easier Said Than Done
But, as we all know, the best laid plans often go awry. Although the idea to adopt Webex across all their state agencies was progressive and forward thinking, the implementation turned out to be much easier said than done. The state was struggling to actualize an effective plan which would bring all employees on board. Using a normal standard application roll-out and training procedures simply wasn’t cutting it.
The Solution Was in The Cloud
At this point, the IT department realized that they were going to require some outside help. After looking at the available options, they realized that the solution was in the cloud… Meet Me In The Cloud. The IT department leveraged MMITC to provide Webex Adoption Acceleration and Training Services to help with the monumental task to plan, coordinate, and deliver end-user Webex Training to all existing Webex users spread across 10-12 State and Local Government Webex Sites.
When the Goal Becomes the Vision
The IT department had a goal: they wanted to move all of their state agencies to a single Webex site in their new Control Hub. But Meet Me In The Cloud’s goal went far beyond just a goal. They created a vision. MMITC envisioned the transfer to involve all Webex Users feeling confident in the transition because of MMITC’s successfully coordinated planning, communication, and training.
When the Vision Becomes Reality
And that vision became a reality. Meet Me In The Cloud’s Adoption Acceleration Services helped the IT department to achieve over 80% of all licensed users conducting a Webex Meeting over the first 60 days! They went beyond simply telling the IT department how the new technology works. MMITC created a careful, well thought out plan, and then helped them to implement that plan. All the IT department was able to see originally was an insurmountable obstacle, but once Meet Me In the Cloud’s Adoption Acceleration Services came in, they were able to overcome their technology adoption challenges.
As a result of the amazing experience and surprisingly quick implementation, the IT department chose to continue their partnership with MMITC’s Customer Success Managed Services. This ensures that their Webex Users will have an engaged partner in their continued online collaboration plans and goals for continuous adoption.
Meet Me In The Cloud upgraded an entire state’s online collaboration in less than 60 days.
Just imagine what our Adoption Acceleration Services can do for you.