How to Kick-butt Virtually

It is encouraging and inspiring to see how businesses have stepped up and found new ways of serving their clients. We’re constantly in awe of our amazing clients and community who rise up and continue to shine; despite the hardships. It’s a joy to see barriers being broken down as people meet face-to-face in a virtual context – nurturing relationships and creating a fresh platform for opportunities and growth.
Mortgage Allies has been operating virtually for a few years already, and through time, sweat and experience we’ve picked up what seems to work well, and what doesn’t work so well. To save you some time, stress and energy, we thought we’d offer up some of our best virtual guidelines for making the most of working from home.

When you have a designated office space, you’re able to separate work-life from home-life. Your office space needs to be well-lit so that you can read and see effectively. You need to make sure that they will be able to see you clearly. It can be intimidating (and frightening) when only two beady eyes pop-out from a dark background. Keep this in mind as you consider your office space and professional image. You’ll need the basics – a desk near a plug to charge your laptop or computer, a comfy chair, pens and a notebook to store any thoughts or ideas as they power-in. 

Once you’re sure your space is well-lit, you need to do a background test. Have a look at yourself and your backdrop setting when on camera – make sure that everything in view is appropriate and gives the right impression. Plants, family photos, a coffee machine or a neutral wall are some good options for the setting. We love seeing one another’s pets in the backdrop – just make sure Fluffy doesn’t strut across your keyboard and delete the work you’ve been busy with for hours. It’s not the face you’d want clients to see!

We understand that working from home means a better work-life balance, and it’s a welcome benefit (most days) to have family members nearby – especially when you need that third cup of filter coffee. If you can, explain to family members that your office space is a place of quiet and concentration. It should be treated with the same respect as an office away from the home. Close the door, and allow as few disturbances as possible. It’s not easy denying the quick hug or cuddle from a loved one, but keep the camera off when doing so and try to limit these interruptions. You want your office space to be productive, neat and the work – high quality. Through tough times, our ability to keep busy and producing good work is a stronghold.
Quick tips:
  • If you have to get up during the meeting, turn the camera off before you get up
  • Mute your microphone if you hear an unexpected noise
  • Take a few minutes before the meeting to quickly turn your camera on and check out not only your background but how you look. Are you happy with your appearance or do you need to touch up?
  • Try and sit in the same place every time
  • Adjust the height of your screen so that it’s level with your face – try to sit a good distance from the screen, you don’t want to be so close they see every blemish but neither do you want to be too far away
  • Avoid moving around too much
  • In most meetings, interrupting someone is not a good idea, but even more so in virtual meetings where there is a delay in the voices

It is important to keep hydrated, to stand up and stretch your legs, and to get a bit of fresh air. We encourage our team to work as ergonomically as possible, and some of or team members even use standing desks to keep the blood flowing, calories burning and the posture correct. We can get hurt by sitting incorrectly and not taking adequate time to move around. Make sure you take your full lunch break – sit with your family, chat and eat mindfully. By giving those in your home some attention during your breaks, they’re less likely to barge in shouting for more toilet paper during your meeting. Drink your cup of coffee standing up. Walk around as you chat on the phone – make sure you diversity your day to keep things different.

To be able to wake up with purpose and the opportunity to work through tough times is a privilege and one that should be celebrated. When you sit down at your desk, take a moment to appreciate this before diving in. Think of those who are not as fortunate, and who are struggling – and send them your hope and strength. Keep moving, growing and doing your best – be open to the new ways of working and be gentle on yourself as you learn the ropes.

We look forward to many more virtual encounters with our clients, community and friends. Let’s work together to build a professional, warm and effective virtual space. There are so many benefits to this style of getting things done, and we are incredibly excited at the thought of even more businesses tapping into this way of working. Share your thoughts with us!

We love clients that are hungry for information because it leads to the right mortgage. Get in touch – let’s tackle these real issues when getting a mortgage, together.