We recently interviewed Customer Engagement Manager, Laura Coughlan, about how she has adapted to working from home, the challenges she may have been facing, the perks of remote working and more.
With this current climate and everything going on, had it been a big transition from working in the office, helping your customers, to working from home full-time?
It wasn't the biggest transition as I have practiced working from home the occasional day in the past. However, this has been a significantly different transition to full-time working from home, as everyone else is probably experiencing. It was quite difficult the first two weeks, but I think it was just so important to get a routine down almost from the beginning and that has made a significant difference for me anyway.
I like to get up first thing in the morning. I go for a long jog. I just do some exercises. Then when I get back, get ready for work. And we have our team meetings then, which are twice a day. So they really help as well to keep you focused. I think after the first two weeks, it’s just become the norm. And then in the evening, I like to go for a walk with my husband. It's just nice that we can do that.
Have you found there to be fluctuations throughout the day with your internet connection now that you have so many conference calls at home? Is there a strain on your network?
I've noticed that my internet has probably decreased a little bit in terms of bandwidth. So I've started not using my camera quite as much on calls. I've noticed that I've started to drop off on a few calls, but it's pretty stable otherwise. I have noticed around certain times like 3 pm I run into more difficulties with the connection. Overall though, it hasn’t been too much of a frustration.
Do you find that you have more calls with your customers now?
I suppose for me, my meetings would be quite regular with my customers. I would have them scheduled on a monthly basis. So that hasn't really changed too much. I think just communication is probably up more with my customers. I feel like just with everything that's going on in the world, they're reaching out looking for more information, particularly as we see COVID-19 and the impact it is having on global telecoms. I suppose our customers look to us for the information we can provide as telecommunications specialists.
While you have always provided support for your customers, would you say that you’ve had to take on a more empathetic approach with them now?
Absolutely. I know we were talking about it internally that we're just a click of a button away from reaching out to any of our colleagues. That probably has made things a lot more efficient. When I'm trying to get answers to questions or looking for some help or information on something. But customers I'm finding as well also feel that I'm only just a click of a button away, so that’s very reassuring for them to know we’re always looking out for them and providing that support.
Would you have any other tips now for people working from home who may not be used to it or who might be finding it a little bit difficult?
Absolutely. I think just defining your workspace area as well is really important. That you do have a good and comfortable setup. You're in a quiet room and you're not going to get distracted. That for me is really crucial. I guess I'm very lucky in that I just live with my husband. He is also working from home, so he has his office space upstairs and I'm downstairs in the living room. So a very comfortable table and chair. It's not very noisy.
Another thing I think you should do is break up your day. So for example, at lunchtime, I might start making dinner maybe, or I'll go for a short walk in the countryside, something that would be different. It's so important just to break up the afternoon. Maintaining a schedule is vital but so are those breaks. I'm still using my work diary as well. As mundane as that sounds I do find that it does help me just keep my focus.
To listen in on more of this interview, be sure to tune in to the latest episode of the Spearline Podcast.