Working From Home: Lessons From Our COVID-19 Contest

Working from home during COVID-19

We knew working from home during COVID-19 was a challenging and frustrating transition for most people. Here are the numbers:

  • Before the pandemic, only 3.6% of the American employees worked from home but as of April 2020, over one-third of the workforce transitioned to remote work. 
  • According to a survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management, 71% of companies are struggling with the remote work transition. 
  • In PwC’s CFO Pulse Survey, respondents observe a 41% decrease in productivity as a result of the work from home shift.
  • According to Procurify’s own survey, 53% of participants reported that their employers did not cover the cost of making remote work comfortable.

So, in an attempt to spread a little joy during the pandemic, Procurify decided to launch a contest to reward displaced workers with an upgraded workspace.

We just announced the grand prize winner of Procurify’s one-week Boost Your Workspace contest. Our lucky winner, Kelsey Messner, a financial professional from Pennsylvania, will receive a complete workspace makeover worth $2,500 with guidance from interior designer Jeanette Patterson.

The Winner of Procurify’s Boost Your Workspace Contest’s Grand Prize
The Winner of Procurify’s Boost Your Workspace Contest’s Grand Prize

 

Why Did We Launch a Workspace Contest During the Pandemic?

 

The idea of a contest for remote workers originated from our survey to understand how companies and people were adjusting to the new normal of working from home. Though the main sentiment of the newly transitioned remote workforce was positive with 76% of participants reporting that they enjoyed the transition to working from home, there was an underlying theme of the difficulties in building an effective workspace. The Procurify team could empathize as we were going through the same transition. Although we regularly discussed how to enable our entire team to “work from anywhere”, a lot of team members were not ready for a sudden switch. So, we launched this contest for three main reasons:

  1. To support displaced workers who were not ready for remote work and didn’t have a proper workspace at home.
  2. To comfort people who felt isolated by bringing joy and love from Dash, Procurify’s mascot.
  3. And last but not least, to support the frontline workers working hard, day after day. We decided to support ConquerCovid19.ca by donating $2,500 towards the purchase of priority products that are in short supply, but essential for the healthcare community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

What We Learned From Our COVID-19 Workspace Contest

People are very creative, resourceful, and adaptable when acting within the existing constraints. We were truly surprised at how different and innovative home setups could be. Take a look at some of our favorite entries and examples below:

Creative way to set up your desk with what you have
Laptop stands replaced with shoeboxes and storage boxes
Be creative with your workspace
Makeshift desks

 

Parents who work from home, while also taking care of their kids, truly master the art of multitasking:

Working from home with kids

 

Having a furry friend next to you while working from home brings a little (or a lot!) of joy to the work routine and helps cope with social distancing:

Working from home with pets

Surprising Life Lessons From Our Contest

The transition to remote work has affected many businesses, and we’re all in it together. More than ever before, compassion for others and gratitude for what we have is crucial. Some of us might miss office SodaStream, fancy lattes from office coffee machines, Virtual Reality rooms, or casual kitchen chit chats. And guess what? It’s perfectly ok to miss all of these things and feel saddened or nostalgic. However, simply remembering that we’re all in this challenging time together makes it easier to be grateful for the present moment and hopeful for the future. We’d like to thank all our participants for taking part in our contest. Selecting the winners was extraordinarily difficult: our team deliberated over the decisions for hours! We hope that entering our contest has given you a little inspiration to elevate your workspace in more creative ways by seeing what others have shared online.

Stay tuned as we’ll share an update from Kelsey in a few weeks as she reveals the result of her new workspace!

By the way, we’ve gathered 15 best practices for working remotely from home. What you can learn:

  • Advice on setting up effective workspaces 
  • Best practices for remote communication and digital workflows
  • Ideas for virtual events to keep your teams aligned and connected

What do you think?

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