For broker Stanislav Kojokin of Toronto-based KASE Insurance, getting yourself organized so that you know what your day and the rest of the week is going to look like is the key to success while working from home.
Having worked from home for two weeks now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the managing partner for Toronto-based KASE Insurance has found that scheduling goes a long way to staying on track when outside the office.
“Make sure you plan things properly, even before the week starts,” he told Canadian Underwriter in an interview. “Have missions and put together plans and goals for yourself, so you know exactly what you’re going to achieve throughout the day. I think that’s important.”
And when you wrap up for the day, make a note of what needs to get done tomorrow, Kojokin added. That saves you time in the morning figuring out tasks that need completing.
And when you quit for the day while working from home, really stop working. Don’t just go back to your desk to do more work a few hours later. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean work has to creep into your personal time.
“It’s important to stick to a routine that you’re ‘working’ during working hours, 9-5,” Kojokin said. “Don’t mix up home and work together so that while you’re supposed to ‘home,’ you’re working. Or else the work never stops. I think that’s important. Be able to walk away from work and go back to your time with family. Be able to draw that line.”
Kojokin started KASE Insurance four years ago. Before that, he was used to working from home as a salesperson.
“I’d always work remotely, and I got used to working from a laptop and cellphone,” he said. But being an owner means going to the office every day and taking advantage of that office space. The workplace environment has become comfortable and has its perks, like video games and a coffee machine. “So I kind of miss those things.”
He also misses the familiar faces around the office. “Personally, I still prefer going to the office and seeing everybody’s faces and working as a team,” Kojokin said. “But I’m learning to let that go and work with everybody and keep in touch with everybody remotely. It’s been an interesting progression.”
He and many other brokers and industry professionals are working hard to make lemonade out of lemons. But many still have adjustments to make to the new normal.
“I always like going to the office,” he said. “I don’t like working from home. I like to separate the two. But now I have no choice. There are no coffee shops or anywhere I can go to work out of. So I just try to have my private area. Everything can be done remotely so there’s no real obstacle from having to go to the office. It’s been a very, very smooth transition.”