Advice | How To |

How to improve your work-from-home experience

By Luke Hopewell March 15, 2020

As we move our office-based teams to a work-from-home model, we’re all thinking about how to be most productive in a new environment. We’ve been working flexibly at Telstra for a while, and have rounded up five great tips from our team that might make your experience easier.

Improve your home Wi-Fi

Connectivity is everything when you’re working from home. Chances are, you don’t even know where your home Wi-Fi modem is at this point!

The best way to take your work-from-home experience from slow-to-whoa is to improve your Wi-Fi coverage.

Here are our tips on how to get the best home Wi-Fi experience right now.

We like to move it, move it

Working from home can be a stationary experience, which can lead to adverse health effects over a protracted period of time. That’s why it’s important to build movement into your day, focus on key stretches or just get moving around the living room!

Moving, stretching and staying active through fitness apps or even just follow-along aerobic classes on YouTube is super important.

Just as important is your diet: make sure you’re eating healthy and drinking plenty of water throughout your day.

Stay in touch

You may not realise it, but a big part of your day job is the social connection you get at the office. That’s why it’s important to make sure you stay in touch with colleagues virtually, or face-to-face if it’s safe to do so.

Leaders should also stay in touch with their teams regularly, and maintain the usual rhythms of 1:1s and team meetings.

After all, we’re inherently social creatures!

The right stuff

You may take for granted having a whole swathe of tech available at your desk, but when you’ve moved into a home environment, that gear might not be at your fingertips.

To maximise productivity, we recommend following a checklist to make sure your workspace is set up for ergonomic success. We recommend:

  • Laptop;
  • Laptop power cable
  • Laptop stand (if applicable)
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Headset
  • Headset charger

If you don’t have access to any of the following, we recommend speaking to your business about purchasing these for your home environment.

It’s also important to keep in mind your organisation’s cyber security standards while working from home, and maintain good cyber-hygiene on your connections. You can get more tips on good cyber security from our Exchange blog.

Don’t panic

This one is the most important! It’s key to recognise that social distancing and work-from-home mandates are designed as a precaution to help get ahead of things. It’s important we stay flexible so that we’re prepared should the issue escalate quickly.

Public health warnings and the outbreak of global pandemic like the coronavirus (COVID-19) can sometimes appear frightening. With continuous media coverage, unverified stories on social media and uncertain outcomes, it’s common to feel overwhelmed and worried about your, or your family’s health and wellbeing. While these feelings are understandable, if they start to interfere with your everyday life, you may be experiencing health anxiety.

During stressful times our level of resilience can help us cope when things are changing rapidly. Luckily building resilience is a process that we can develop over time by learning and using helpful techniques. Read this guide on how to build your resilience.

And don’t forget: wash your hands frequently!

Inspiration | Telstra Careers |

How All Roles Flex helps our people bring their whole selves to work

By Sundi Balu May 14, 2018

According to the Collins Dictionary, wholeness is defined as the quality of being complete or a single unit and not broken or divided into parts.

I am a great believer in allowing people to bring their 100 per cent personal self to work. As Director Global Business to Business, IT & Digital Solutions, at Telstra, with almost 700 members located in 14 offices across the world, and the added challenge of different time zones, a sense of wholeness is an essential component to our success. 

Working for an organisation committed to diversity and inclusion, I don’t want any of my team members leaving parts of themselves at the office door, and collecting those pieces up and possibly leaving “work parts” behind at the end of the day. Each team member is not just a representation of their technical and professional skills. Their personal experiences influence the diversity of how and why they make their decisions and choose which actions to take in the workplace. This enriches our workplace and customers’ experiences.

Sundi Balu runs an all staff call around the globe

Of course, in encouraging my team to bring their whole self to work I must reciprocate, particularly for those who identify as carers in my team. The global definition from International Alliance of Carer Organisation (IACO) defines a carer (or caregiver / family caregiver) as ‘an unpaid individual, such as a family member, neighbour, friend or other significant individual, who takes on a caring role to support someone with a diminishing physical ability, a debilitating cognitive condition or a chronic life-limiting illness’.  

Most Telstra employees are entitled to use Personal (Sick/Carers) Leave to provide care or support to a member of their immediate family or household who is sick, injured or the subject of an unexpected emergency. Through All Roles Flex, our flexible working arrangements policy, individuals can explore flexible working arrangements with their managers and teams. I do this among my own team and encourage leaders in Global Business to Business IT to do the same with their team members. 

Some of my team members have carer responsibilities. This may include needing to attend regular health appointments or being able to work from home. I encourage open discussions with my team so collectively we understand how we can support those accessing carer’s leave or flexible working and make appropriate arrangements fair to all team members and the business. It is part of our team’s culture.

Sundi Balu brings his local team together

One of my team members has a son diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. He attends various education classes for his fine and gross motor skills. To help manage her carer responsibilities, she works from home one day a week. I also recognise caring for someone with these challenges means there can be some days where life does not go according to plan. On those days I understand caring comes first. I also know because of that open arrangement and understanding around flexibility, I can still rely on her to deliver. 

Which brings me back to my belief of ensuring my team members can bring their whole self to work. If they compartmentalise their life then challenges become distractions. If they are welcomed into an environment whole they will be supported to give their all. 

Technology moves fast and we must meet the demands of our customers. But, the careers of my team members who are also carers are also valued. Through regular check-ins I can ensure my working carers can continue to develop, while drawing on the flexible work environment. 

Telstra is a carer-friendly workplace and supports its people to bring their whole selves to work.