How to keep close with the team during isolation

We are living surreal difficult times, due to the COVID-19 or CORONAVIRUS. If some months ago we couldn’t even imagine how we could move our activity outside of the office, the current situation proved that everything is possible. Even keeping close, under these circumstances.

Our team work in a service center, so our main activity is to offer IT support via phone. So, who would have imagined an office-based team working from home from a day to the next? We were lucky, as the tools we use are flexible and we were able to adapt them out of the office in order for us to continue working with the minimum impact.

Change is not easy, yet we were forced to adapt to work each one from his corner, but keeping close in the same time. When working in a service center, or call center, one kind of depends of the others. When the activity involves taking calls, you have to pay attention at the availability, so you take breaks depending on the others, you have to monitor the waiting calls list and so on. Furthermore, at the office you can ask your colleague when you have a case you don`t know how to handle. At home, you are quite of on your own. Hence, how ca all these be covered when working remotely?

In order to keep close with the team and continue to realize our activity as if we were at the office, this is what we did:

  1. 1. Each morning, we open a group conversation on Skype
keep close
Keep close!

The goal is to remain in contact, so each day we find each other on this group conversation on Skype. Here:

– we share a screen with the “waiting calls” line;

– we talk about the cases and we exchange opinions about the solutions;

-we inform the others when we take a break;

-we exchange about the current situation and our concerns related to coronavirus.

2. Each Wednesday, at 20h, we have a Skype video call

In this reunion, we mix business with pleasure. We take a look at the numbers of the previous week, we talk about the cases and I take advantage of the moment to show all my love and appreciation for my team members.

keep close

Besides, we try to make fun of the situation, of each other and we plan the day that we will be back at the office.

One of my colleagues reads us the funny horoscope of the week, as he used to do when we were at the office.

3. WhatsApp group

Also, we have a WhatsApp group. It was created long before the COVID-19/ CORONAVIRUS event. We exchange about work. We send pictures. We have discussions about COVID-19, our fears and how we will manage this situation in the next period.

During the coronavirus and not only, the safety of the team is a priority, but it’s important also to keep close and to remain together. Because together we are stronger, better and will pass through this easier.

IT support technician : 8 reasons why this job is cool

Working in a service center seems scary and not very cool. But I think this job is underrated. And I have 8 reasons why being an IT support technician is really cool!

1. As an IT support technician, you get to do interesting deeds every single work day

Yes, that’s true. With every call you take, you help someone; when a customer calls the service desk, he/she has an issue and the technician helps solving it. Imagine that someone has to go in a meeting in 20 minutes and needs to print something but the printer doesn’t work properly. In cases like these, he/she calls the IT support and knows that a technician will pick up, listen, understand and solve his/her issue. Well, maybe we don`t save children’s lives, but we save someone’s work day! We get to be heroes! How is this not cool?

2. You learn “patience”

Sometimes it happens to get calls from users who are not so “IT friendly” so you have to take your time to explain to him/her what causes the issue and what he/she has to do in order to solve it. Sometimes they might get mad because they’re pressured and you cannot help and feel like wanting to hang up on them, but after taking a deep breath you go on with the explanations over and over with patience and empathy until the user understands the situation and the solution.

IT Support

On these occasions users are often impatient, they expect us to be not only IT technician but even magicians and pretend to have a solution right away. In cases like this, it takes incredible patience in order to keep explaining why this and why that in multiple ways until it’s completely clear even to people that are not familiar with the IT language. And this is how we learn to be patient.

3. You are part of a team

Being part of a team is a big deal! Usually, we spend more time at work than at home, so the team is important. A team is a group of people doing the same job at you, so they understand you, they understand every emotion, every frustration, every situation that also you could face. Furthermore, they are always there for you to help you when needed. The great thing about a team is that usually each member has a field of knowledge that he/she masters, so every individual adds a great feat to the team making it better and stronger.

4. You have the knowledge, you have the power

Knowledge and information mean power and you have both of them when working as an IT support technician. Right from start and then throughout the course of project you get IT trainings starting with basic IT that will help you also outside of the job. Moreover, you are among the first ones to be informed about the advancement of technology as you are one of those who will offer support for it.

knowledge is power

5. You learn new skills

From technical skills to how to handle a call, you learn a lot of stuff. As the IT world continuously develops, so do your skills. Positive attitude, effective communication, empathy, deep knowledge of the perimeter you offer support for are only a few of the skills when working as an IT support technician.

6. Career evolution

You can get promoted. If you want it and if you are good at your job, you can get promotions. You can become technical referent, knowledge manager, trainer and even manager. Most of the service centers value and promote “internal first”, so if you really want to advance I think nothing can stop you.

7. Change and innovation

As an IT support technician, you get used to constant changes like: change of tools, change of perimeter, change of project, client change, schedule change and so on. Each and every one of them adds new skills, flexibility and creativity to your cv.

Also, you also keep up innovation and latest trends in technology.

8. You become a communication expert

puzzle; team

Active listening, leading the conversation, showing empathy, adapting your language are only a few sides of the communication that you get to develop and improve in this job. And this is big deal!

Between the customers, the managers and the team, communication is a key factor and a skill that’s worth being mentioned on this list.

As a conclusion, we can say that working in a service center is really cool and worth it!

Failure is a good teacher

When something doesn`t go well at work, I feel bad. Really bad. Mostly because I take all the failures very personal and because usually it affects many people and I am not comfortable with it.  When failure comes along, I feel like running in a closed space, getting anywhere and I feel like I want it all to go away. Fast. As fast as it can.

Failure can translate in losing a team member, receiving a complaint from a client, having an unhappy team, not being able to respect deadlines, lack of attending your objectives, being close to losing your job, receiving a negative feedback from your superiors, changing and getting rejected by your new team and the list can go on.

I experienced all the things listed before and much more. I had days wondering if I still need the job or if it is worth it to keep fighting. I had days when I felt like crying each morning before arriving at the office, knowing that I`ll have to face the blaming faces of my colleagues and managers.

Sometimes, when failing, you try to find a guilty factor: the team, a coworker, your boss. Nevertheless, eventually, you see your part in the failure and it feels awful. At that point, you feel lost, you start doubting yourself and your skills and you get frustrated. You feel like wanting to escape. At least it is how I react.


Failure is not easy to handle. It takes courage, honesty, perseverance in order to get yourself together and make things right. It starts with seeing what went wrong in the first place and then, as Samuel Beckett said, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Failure is the best teacher. Failure dares you to do new things, to try new strategies, to innovate, to make things better. It teaches you that there is no limit out of the box. It shows you that you still can and you still have what it takes to do it. It opens new doors for you, as it can make you discover new skills and affinities.

There are a lot of articles, videos and books and this subject. With this one, I just wanted to remind you that you are not alone. Others were down this path also and they survived. Maybe this is not the first time, neither the last time you`re facing a failure, but think about all the lessons you learned the hard way and be grateful that you didn’t limit yourself by a comfortable “status quo”.

Failure is part of the journey, but dare to rise above it and transform it in a success. I believe in you!

What makes a great team

According to the business dictionary, a team is “A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.”

But what makes a team good? I consider my team a good one. The best I’ve ever had. The perfect team. And this is not due to the fact that my team members are perfect human beings (even if for me they are), but they are perfect team players.

They work well together, they are competitive, but at the same time they help each other and they rely on each other. During peaceful times they know how to have fun and play together; on the other hand, in challenging moments, they know how to take everything seriously and go the extra mile to achieve the best results.

One of our secrets is communication which is the common ground, a basic principle. When we have something to do, we present it, we discuss it and we exchange ideas. When dealing with difficult situations, we gather together, try to understand each other’s perspectives and eventually reach an accordance that satisfies everyone involved. If someone makes a mistake, here we go again: a discussion takes place. It’s how we build trust; it’s how we do things.

Together we do lots of extra activities that are not related to work such as games nights, karaoke nights or running sessions. This helps us to know each other better, to accept each other, to set or reset the expectations.

Not every day is full of rainbows, but having built strong basis right from the beginning and nurturing it every day, makes my team the best team ever.

We are in this together!

The text above was written before the covid-19 “episode”. Today, after 2 weeks and some days after starting the home office saga, I decided to re-write it.

The fact that my team is great was once again confirmed. We are working in a service center. This means that each member of my team has to take calls and help users remotely, offering IT support. Our customers are in home office as well, so it is a new situation for everyone involved in our activity.

The night before starting the activity in home office mode, I wasn’t able to sleep much. I felt a little lost, like if it was the day before starting a new project. Not because I didn`t trust my team, but I didn`t trust the technology. I wasn’t 100% sure that all our tools would work, that our home internet connection could handle the connection, that we could be able to communicate efficiently between the calls and so on. I had at least 10 negative scenarios disrupting my sleep. I wasn’t sure about how our work volumes would be impacted by the new state, about how people would react and the only thing that reassured me was the fact that I had no doubt about how amazing my team is.

The first week was a roller-coaster: we made a skype group, we paid attention to every little detail, we informed each other about breaks, customers, incidents and at the same time we shared opinions, emotions and fears related to the coronavirus. For the first time we worked separated, everyone from his place, but despite all the difficulties that appeared on our way we became closer than ever.

Don`t get me wrong, my team and I used to be close and do stuff together even before, outside of the office. But the new thing was that we were able to make a great job even while being apart. The idea is that when being part of a team, things get easier when your co-worker is physically near you. You can ask him/her for help, he comforts you when things get difficult, you joke around, you take lunch together and a lot of other little things that make life at work happier and more bearable. We used to take these things for granted and I guess we’ll value them much more when we’ll get back to normal. All this to say that in the last 2 weeks, our routine changed, but we remained united, we remained team players.

What makes a great team? In a great team, the team members have the same objectives and each one gives his/her best even when no one is watching. A great team has team players who understand each other, help each other, cover for each other.

A great team knows to face the unknown, the change. Change is never easy and this time we had to change everything from one day to another. Do you know what didn’t change? Let me tell you: the respect we have for each other, the trust, the common goal.

During these difficult times my colleagues managed to do their best and they’ve even outdone themselves. Without complaining, they proved each day that they are true professionals who can master our perimeter and they don’t let anything stop themselves from fulfilling their duties and even going beyond the expectations in order for things to be properly done and advance.

What makes a team great? I wish you could meet my team to see for yourself! A great team is made of beautiful human beings and I am beyond proud of mine!