Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series that looks into the lives of the VALiNTRY360 team and how they “walk the walk” when it comes to embodying Digital Transformation.
When Victor took his first remote job before it was popular back in 2005, he had no idea that it would prepare him to successfully make it through 2020. Staying productive at work, maintaining his sanity, and keeping his family together during a pandemic wouldn’t have been possible without the ability to work remotely and a leadership team that allows employees to build margin for the craziness life brings.
New Job, New Challenges
In early March of 2020, Victor took a job working with VALiNTRY360. While the previous 15 years of his career were almost exclusively working from home, his new job would require him to mostly work in the office. After his first week on the job in 2020, the COVID-19 lockdown was enforced in Central Florida, forcing the company to shift all employees to a work from home model. It wasn’t what anyone was expecting, but Victor was a remote working veteran.
In July of 2020, Victor received news that his mother-in-law required full-time care to ensure her health did not decline. After discussing the matter with his family, Victor, his wife, and their children made the trip to Mexico to help his wife’s family care for her for several months. With the children on summer break and his ability to work remotely, Victor was able to maintain his workload just as if he’d been back in the States. Sadly, his mother-in-law contracted COVID-19 in August and passed away. The ability to support his wife while she cared for her mother during her last days was one of the biggest advantages to working remotely and Victor knew that it was one of the best decisions his family could have made.
As the year progressed into the fall, Victor learned that a beloved aunt and uncle also contracted COVID-19. Unfortunately, both of their immune systems weren’t strong enough to combat the virus and they both passed away.
Creating Joy (and Productivity) in Adversity
Three family losses in one year were a lot to handle for the Rosado family. As Christmas approached, they knew the holidays would be very different this year. Due to travel restrictions and the surge in infections, there would be no celebrations with extended family but, Victor wanted to do something memorable. It had been a rough year. He began looking at renting an RV to travel during the week of Christmas. The more he researched, the more it sounded like a great way to make a difficult holiday a happy one and provide an adventure the family would never forget. They rented an RV and headed for Gatlinburg, TN to spend the holidays together.
It was a great way to end a tough year and his young children even said it was the best Christmas ever! To add even more excitement, a major cold front passed through the southeast bringing a heavy blanket of snow to help the Rosados have a white Christmas which was the perfect addition to an amazing vacation.
But as the kids built snowmen and enjoyed sledding, Victor realized the weather would cause them to delay returning home by a day. This was concerning as Victor needed to be at work the next day to meet with clients to go over a demo. Thankfully, he had the right technology and Wi-Fi access, so he was able to still meet his client commitments. Pulling the RV over on the side of the road at a rest stop, he was able to conduct his demo and a couple of other virtual meetings. Once the meetings were over, he continued homeward until it was time for other work commitments. He pulled over once again to connect his devices to do what he needed to do, all while his wife and two children stretched their legs and played soccer outside the RV. Finally, they made it home and life returned to some semblance of normal as the family prepared for a new year.
This experience was just what Victor and his family needed to cap a challenging 2020. But it also motivated him to work hard for his goals and press on for 2021. He couldn’t have made it through this tough time without the ability to work remotely or working for an organization with a culture that trusts team members to do what they need to do to be successful in work and their personal lives.
Tips for a Successful Remote Work Culture
Victor says there are three things that any company needs to create a successful remote working culture.
The proper technology needs to be in place. Ideally, cloud-based systems are best because they give the flexibility to access data and platforms from anywhere. Salesforce, with its cloud-based platform and huge ecosystem of apps, helps teams of all types be more productive and efficient from anywhere. The Microsoft 365 suite is another great example of combining productivity options like word processing, communications, and cloud storage.
Systems and Processes
Systems and processes are important because they provide boundaries and give guidance for team members to do their jobs. If an organization doesn’t institute things like regular video check-ins, business result reviews, and project post-mortems, success with remote working will be challenging, if not impossible.
Ultimately, for remote working to be successful, there must be a level of trust with both the team members and leaders. Trust is needed to ensure the work will get accomplished without a team physically being in the same building together or a leader micromanaging every step of the process.
When a company puts all these pieces together, a strong framework is created to give teams the opportunity to be successful no matter where they are. It’s the kind of support that Victor appreciates and thrives with and your teams will, too.
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