Elisa Bernasconi, Paprika Country Manager in Italy, and self-isolated since the end of February tells us how she has handled the situation: “It was Sunday 23rd February. I heard on the news the critical situation due to the COVID-19 and that all the country will be locked down. My responsibility was to ensure that everyone would be safe and to create a new working plan, so I set up a WhatsApp group with the team to prepare them.”
Her advice is simple: organise your work, look after the team, your clients and communicate with both effectively.
1 Use the technology available
Working from home? Never liked it! But you get used to it and it is doable. Paprika made it easier, we already have two people in the team working remotely on a daily basis and we have worked like this for a long time. But today more than ever, Paprika is a key tool that’s much needed to coordinate people, manage projects, accounting and share data in real time.
2 Clock on, clock off
This one is boring but essential: start and finish at the same time you normally do. Take breaks, even just to get up from your seat and stand for a bit. Plan your workflow before you start the day. Have a task list or target sheet in front of you. Prioritise your projects and schedule time slots. Multi-tasking or frequent switching is a productivity killer.
3 Organise yourself before leaving the office
I am living in the centre of Milan and all I need to work in Paprika is a good internet connection, that’s easy. If you are in a more rural area it can be more challenging. Some clients have to handle heavy files that can take a long time to download without a reliable connection. If you're in this situation try do download them overnight or before leaving the office.
4 Reach out to your clients and colleagues (not the biscuits!)
Communicate as much as possible. We are digitalised people and have all the tools to communicate effectively. GTM, Skype, Slack or push notifications your choices are endless and don’t require too much setup. Make it a priority to speak with your team and clients regularly. Organise meetings, for example a 10-minute call to kick off the day and wrap up the day with your colleagues. Speak to your clients and keep them up to date with the latest information, reassure them, show that you are always available. Now more than ever, this is very important.
5 Set boundaries
Who would have thought we would come to love routine one day? I actually need routine to carry on the normal life and it is important for the kids. Each morning they wake up, eat breakfast and get dressed at the same time they would if they were going to schools (and so do I!) We also make sure to spend quality time every evening.
6 Kids: Wear them out!
Keep them busy. I have two girls aged 4 and 7. Luckily, they are old enough to play together but you need to have a plan. We organise activities every evening for the following day. It keeps stability for them, which is what they need and keeps them busy which is… what I want! Hidden treasure is their favourite, try it!
The Paprika very last tips…
- If the advice at number 6 was not successful try the blackmail method (yes, it’s bad, but this is a survival kit)
- Make sure you’re on mute before talking to your child in a middle of a meeting
- Do not let your webcam catch you unawares
- When in a video conference call make SURE that the cam can’t catch your partner running past the office naked to get a towel from the linen