We return with a new episode from the “WFH challenges” series, this time the protagonist of the interview is our colleague, Ștefan Rusoiu, Project Manager – CGS Bucharest.
What are the main difficulties that can arise in the case of working from home?
The main difficulties for me, considering that I am an extroverted person, are strictly related to the interaction with colleagues. Even if it is quite difficult from this perspective, the video calls are the ones that make our day more beautiful during this period.
How to maintain your efficiency even if you work from home?
Efficiency will always remain high as long as you have a goal set. From week to week, I set a new goal that I want to achieve, and this motivates me and, implicitly, my level of efficiency is high.
How do you delimit your personal work life when everything happens from home?
Even if in this environment where we work from home we tend to open the laptop in the early hours of the morning just to check the email and just to see what else happened, after this, realizing that you spent two hours outside your work schedule, slowly this instinct can be educated. At first, I encountered difficulties from this point of view, but over time, I managed to control these impulses by finding various activities that would keep me busy in my personal life. Each of us has discovered during this period what good chefs we are, how we can make our home space more efficient and reorganize things. 😊
How to avoid distractions while working from home?
It is very important to create a corner of our house that is dedicated to working from home. In the first days, I experienced bed work, gradually moving to work on the couch, so that, after a maximum of one week, I realized that the most efficient and comfortable for me is working at a desk. I managed to organize a separate room with an office, and this makes me concentrate better and, at the same time, be more productive.
What would be solutions for good time management?
It is very important to structure your day according to priorities. The easiest thing for me is to check my calendar at the beginning of the day to see the organization of meetings and calls, and later to set my priorities among them. It helps me a lot to write down on a diary all the activities I want to do, and after finishing a task to make sure I delete it from the list. This makes me more organized and not have unproductive periods.
How to adapt to work without permanent supervision from hierarchical superiors / how do you become more autonomous in the absence of superiors?
I have never had a problem from this point of view, and I can say that both I and my colleagues have been prepared to become autonomous through every interaction we have had with our superiors. It is important that when you manage a team, your interactions with them do not aim to solve problems on the spot. Even if it may take longer, it is more important to explain the way of thinking and the purpose, rather than to offer the solution itself as it has an extremely positive effect in the long run versus a punctual solution that is much easier to offer.
How do you deal with social isolation? (lack of direct interactions and socialization with colleagues)
In the two months I spent in isolation, in Bucharest, I spent most of my time watching series, reading, and playing video games with my girlfriend. Later, we made the decision to return to my hometown, which helped us a lot because we became: mechanics, gardeners, craftsmen etc. At the same time, I keep in daily contact with close friends and either we talk through a video call or when I don’t have time, a simple meme sent to them is enough to stay close.
Is it more difficult to realize a performance assessment in the case of working from home?
I consider that it is not more difficult to carry out a performance evaluation in the case of working from home because, in the field in which we work, the performance is very easy to follow. Indeed, we do not have such good control over what happens to our people in real time, but from the performance monitoring point of view of, it is as easy as it was at the office to track these things.
How do you maintain your motivation and positive thinking in case of serious problems that affect the way you live and work?
By nature, I am an optimistic and extremely positive person. I try as much as possible not to be loaded with negative things, I like to be informed and to know what is happening around me, but I do not do this constantly. I prefer to surround myself with people similar to me, and occasionally a magnesium supplement helps me a lot. 😊
How can you adapt to online communication that replaces the face-to-face communication we are used to?
From this point of view, online communication was a challenge for me at first. The moment I joined the training groups of 30 people and introduced myself and tried to explain the project I was working on, I realized that it was something new for me and that I needed to find a solution to adapt quickly. Given the experience gained over the years, in face-to-face communication it is easier because you can consider body language, you can observe people’s reactions and you can realize when you do not have the full attention of the audience. That’s why, every time I have the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and do this, I prefer to do it because I think it can help me in the long run. Most of the time, I prefer to open my webcam and show myself completely, because it helps me to maintain a correct posture and to be as attentive as possible to my reactions, it is as if I were giving a speech in the mirror.