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Tips for Working from Home

The government's latest estimates suggest more than 640,000 people, or 24% of the total workforce, are currently working at home, the result of the COVID-19 lockdown.

 

It’s a challenge that can take some getting used to, juggling childcare, family commitments and work meetings, often simultaneously, and frequently all from the kitchen table.

 

ANZ’s staff are no different.

 

With 90 percent of our contact centre team now working on secure systems from home, our teams have been sharing tips on how best to make it work.

 

Among them, ANZ contact centre staff Anmol Bajaj and Barkha Maini, who began working remotely late last year.

 

What began as a trial involving around 70 staff has been rapidly expanded in recent weeks, to include almost all of the bank’s contact centre team.

 

TIPS FOR WORKING AT HOME

 

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH COLLEAGUES

 

Anmol says it’s important to ‘be present with your colleagues’ – keeping in touch with them through Skype, What’sApp and other online tools.

 

“We do our team huddles and team meetings, week on week, where we discuss our agenda and goals for the week.

 

We do that through our video chatting, which is great to see everyone’s faces once a week.”

 

Barkha agrees, saying to keep morale up it’s also a good idea to have some more light hearted moments, such as setting up virtual coffees, starting a What’sApp group, or celebrating team members’ birthdays.

 

 

"To keep morale up it’s also a good idea to have some more light hearted moments."

 

Barkha Maini, ANZ NZ contact centre staff  member

 

 

DON’T LET WORK ENCROACH ON YOUR HOME LIFE

 

Anmol and Barkha say it is important to make sure you try not to let your work life encroach on the rest of your day.

 

Barkha says “I am dedicated to my work, but once I sign off, that’s it, out of sight, out of mind for me. I have set my secure system in a separate spare room I had. I don’t enter that room unless I have to, that’s my work and the rest of my house is my house, where I have another life.”

 

Anmol agrees that creating a dedicated work space is a good idea.

 

“I actually did some experiments with my set-up. I initially set up my workstation in my bedroom, but I found I was checking emails a lot. Now I am set up in a spare room.”

 

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE FOR SOME FRESH AIR

 

Make sure to take some breaks and go for small walks during break time.  The fresh air can also be good for your creativity. But don’t forget the two metre rule.

 

GET UP AND DANCE

 

Barkha says that during her break times she listens to upbeat music. “A little bit of a workout during the breaks is really refreshing.”

 

A trial involving 70 ANZ staff has been rapidly expanded to include almost all of the bank’s contact centre team.

 

ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED

 

Anmol and Barkha say it is important to ask for help if you need it.

 

“You should be in regular contact with your team leader.”  If the tech isn’t working, or there are other issues it is really important to speak up.

 

Anmol welcome the opportunity to be part of the working at home trial. He had recently returned to work after undergoing successful treatment for leukaemia.

 

“I could get so many things done, because I was saving about two hours a day of travel time” said Anmol. “It meant I could spend more time with my family, and I felt my energy levels were higher at the end of the day.”

 

Barkha agrees, saying “I became more organised, more relaxed, it saved my travel time, and that time I could spend with my two children.”

 

Since the lockdown they are spending even more time together. Barkha says routine is important for the entire family.

 

“They have their live streaming classes, dance and music. In their breaks they help with the household chores, like dishes and cleaning. Our little team effort keeps the house clean all the time. We play indoor card games, plenty of baking and cooking together and watching Netflix movie almost every night. It’s a perfect work life balance with lots of love and being for each other at this difficult time.”

 

ESSENTIAL SERVICE

 

New Zealand’s banks have been designated an essential service. That means ANZ is continuing to provide cash and ATM services, hardship and lending support, as well as supporting our most vulnerable customers.

 

To help make this happen many staff are now working remotely.

 

“We have had to quickly change the way we work to support our customers” said ANZ NZ Chief Executive Antonia Watson.

 

“I am really proud of the way our staff have adapted over the past couple of weeks, and worked as a team to make this happen.

 

For example, without the hard work of our Technology team we would not have 90% of the contact centre staff working from their homes.”

 

Some of the branch staff have also stepped in to assist the contact centre team in helping customers who are in hardship.

Customer behaviour is changing, and staff have had to adapt.

 

“The Contact Centres are seeing more enquiries during the core part of the day and then falling away in the afternoon."

 

"We are working with our people to move duties to accommodate this demand.”

 

“What we are all doing at ANZ makes a real difference for fellow Kiwis and the country. We should all be proud of each other.

 

These aren’t easy times, and it’s important we all look out for each other in what is likely to be more a marathon than a sprint.”

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