Making the most of our isolation situation

14 May 2020

Now that we are in week 9 of working from home due to COVD19, we thought we would reflect on how our Cunninghams team members have adapted to this massive change in working conditions. Pre-isolation the thought of having 80-90% of our team members working from home would have made everyone very nervous, but as the weeks have gone on, led by a team of innovative Partners and Managers, we seemed to have adapted extremely well. We have gone from one team across three offices, to one team across about 70 different working from home scenarios – and with everyone working hard to adjust, it has worked! Throughout this time it would have been easy for us to feel disconnected, disengaged and lonely, but to the contrary we have found many silver linings which, when it comes to team morale, have been incredibly valuable.

Looking back, there have been some massive wins during this time including the way our already very close team have come together over a range of different digital platforms. We have had trainings, department meetings, full team meetings, Friday night drinks and team challenges to help us feel connected even though we are physically apart. It is fair to say that during this time, our whole team has been able to bond over the experience as well as get to know each other a little better personally through cooking demonstrations, fitness posts and creative arts performances we have shared as a team.

While these connections have been a wonderful addition to our team culture, it hasn’t been without its challenges, especially when it comes to those team members that thrive on a high energy, dynamic environment. Normally, our Sales and Property Management teams meet face to face once a week and work within their teams across three offices where energy bounces around from team to team. There is also face to face mentoring and coaching meetings held to upskill our newer team members as well as consistent team trainings held by our senior team members. These types of collaborations can lose some of their intensity when it is done remotely and while it comes down to personality traits and working styles, some members of our team prefer being in a fast paced office environment which, in some circumstances could possibly be more conducive to productivity. In saying this, after a record month in March and April 2020 figures matching those of April 2019, it is safe to say that our team have adapted pretty well!

We asked our team to list some pros and cons of working from home over the last few months and here are a few snippets, looks like there are more pros than cons but we sure do miss seeing our colleagues in the office!

Pros

“Biggest adjustment has been sitting down for Zoom meetings for hours on end and discovering the need to get out and walk it off more often.”

“Not wearing high heels and spending money on dry cleaning!”

“Everyone adjusting to technology quickly and the faster implementation of new systems & processes that are digital and more agent and client friendly.”

“Facetime and Zooming becoming the normal, no more awkwardness and barriers to facetime people now!”

“The no rushing in the morning – getting myself off to work and the kids off to school has lead to a much calmer feeling across the household in the morning.”

“Spending more time with family. Not just at home, but have been checking in & zooming with extended family more than ever.”

“Embracing the new technology and learning new systems really appreciating the small things in life and spending time with the family and having the time to do some DIY garden projects.”

“Definitely a feeling of a better work/life balance. I loved how exercise has become part of my morning routine again! A much calmer & healthier start to the day.”

“Have loved having the time to have brekkie as a family each and every morning and the no rushing with daycare drop off.”

“Not having to make lunches, and getting out to exercise and enjoy nature way more due to more time at home.”

“I had no idea what a zoom meeting was until 6 weeks ago, now I love it!”

“Loving less travel, no makeup, more exercise.”

“Loving living the simple life! As a home body, I’m loving it! Living in the present I’m happier, content and mindful of my many blessings.”

“Juggling parenting, teaching and work is a challenge but one that we have conquered without killing each other and are a more cohesive family unit now.”

Cons

“Connecting and collaborating with colleagues was no good for me, working from home. Doesn’t work with social creatures like agents.”

“Having the kids at home and schooling as well as working has been really hard but if they were at school working from home would be a breeze!”

“Missing everyone at work & adult interaction, also the realisation that teachers need a pay rise & year 6 maths is harder than I remember.”

“The lack of touching and cuddling people has been hard, especially when people are sad or down and you can’t comfort them with a hug.”

“I discovered very quickly I don’t like working from home – home is my sanctuary and my private space.”

“Least favourite part is missing social interaction and trying to work while helping the kids with school work.”

“It’s challenging being parent, teacher and employee all at the same time.”

Lastly, while we are slowly seeing things return to some sort of normal, we thought this quote from entrepreneur and business owner, Naomi Simson was appropriate, talking about the future of work, post Covid-19.

“Work will be far more about what we produce, rather than the place we go”