5 Tips for Maintaining Work-life Balance
We now have worked from home for months, with varying degrees of freedom to move around. Depending on which country you are based in, you may be totally confined to your home complex or are able to run your errands in the city. During this time, the world has experienced some more things,
- Many more COVID-19 infected people, some even in our known circle
- Many losing their jobs or having reduced incomes
- Economy taking a hit, as people are spending money on essentials only
- On the work front, a lot more time being spent in front of laptops and mobile devices
All these changes can bring more stress to our lives. Negative energies of these financial, emotional, and work pressures can impact your health. We need a balance in our existence to survive and thrive. Here are five quick tips for maintaining this balance,
- Exercise more – Start your day with some physical exercises, yoga, and meditation. The combination can be very peaceful and calming for your being
- Shorter meetings – Set 15-minute or 45-minute meetings instead of 30- and 60-minute ones. A lot of times, the meeting only requires that much productive time
- Frequent breaks – Take frequent breaks. Do not be shy to take 10 minutes here and there to look away from the screen, spend time with the family, or just stretch
- More video calls – Video calls will bring additional dimensions of a conversation, which makes meetings more dynamic and enjoyable
- More ad hoc calls – Do not let your calendar drive your day. Allow for ad hoc calls with your colleagues to mimic hallway chats or water cooler gossips
The idea is to pace ourselves, before these long hours start creating fatigue. Set an end time for your day. Unless something is urgent, close your laptop at that time, after which it is your family and/or me time. More importantly, use your weekends to revitalize for following weeks. The COVID situation can last for months. In this digitally connected new world, we owe it to ourselves and our employers that we stay healthy both physically and emotionally by maintaining a work-life balance in our lives. Maintain social distance, stay safe, and stay healthy.
The way in which we all work has changed. For example, Fiix has transformed into a “digital-first” workplace, which has forced us to learn new ways of communicating with our community and each other. What does this mean for your organization? Or your team?
Informed by the answers we heard back from the Fiix community, we developed a blueprint of six pillars that maintenance teams can focus on to get comfortable with business-as-unusual in a constantly changing world.
In this webinar our resident training and education expert, Joanne Wood, guides us through this blueprint. Joanne highlights examples from the Fiix community and showcases, through CMMS demos, practical ways that you can:
- Manage maintenance remotely using new communication methods in the absence of pass down meetings or the introduction of staggered shifts.
- Find new ways to extend the capacity of your team and make the most of your budget, materials, and people.
- Communicate changes to sanitation and safety protocols and track PPE.
- Build flexibility to adapt to quick changes in production or supply chains.
- Take advantage of the latest software and systems and integrating people and tech to build one source-of-truth for your business.
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1. Managing maintenance remotely
4:55 Joanne demonstrates how to quickly share information among team members in the absence of pass down meetings or the introduction of staggered shifts using the Fiix mobile CMMS app. In her example, Joanne starts a work order that she is unable to complete during her shift. She leaves a work order note for her colleague who is coming in on the next shift using speech to text. Snaps a picture of the unfinished work, changes the work order status to in-progress, and reassigns to her colleague to pick up where she left off.
7:53 The power of inactive users is often overlooked by many Fiix users. Joanne explains how adding vendors or contractors as inactive users allows you to automate important communications to them.
10:30 This section wraps with some highlights from our discussion with maintenance professional and Fiix user Tom Dufton on the topic of remote work.
2. Doing more with less
15:42 Reports can provide great insights and help you uncover many efficiencies – but which ones to use?! Joanne calls out two of her favorite reports – “labour hours by asset” to identify bad actors, and “detailed employee hours” for allocating workload and scheduling.
20:00 Joanne talks Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and how the Fiix work request portal can encourage operators and maintenance staff to work together (without having to work in close proximity) to support production and quality.
25:18 Many Fiix users have raised the issue of longer lead times for parts and supplies, especially PPE. Joanne demonstrates how to use the Fiix parts and supplies module to keep track of minimum order quantities and ensure default vendors are set.
3. Advancing health and safety
30:00 Joanne demonstrates how to quickly communicate updated PPE instructions or sanitation protocols using task groups. In her example, Joanne adds a PPE task group to a labour task that is associated with multiple assets. Now when a work order is generated against these assets, the user will have to acknowledge that they are wearing the appropriate PPE before completing the labour tasks. Another method is to assign the task group by category.
33:52 Creating cascading work orders is a great method for calling in the sanitation department when another work order has been completed. Joanne shows how to add an inspection type labour task to any scheduled maintenance that can automatically notify the sanitation team and generate a follow-on work order.
38:30 Prompted by a question from the audience, Joanne navigates to the files tab of an asset from a work order to reiterate the power of this library of information. Any file, from standard operating instructions, manuals, and safety procedures to pictures and floor plans can be added to this asset library and easily accessed via the work order from desktop or mobile – even in offline mode!
4. Adapting to changes in production
Many Fiix users are communicating to us that they are having to adapt to abrupt changes in production or more frequent stops and starts. We dedicated a two-part webinar series to this topic. Part 1 – Hot Stops and Part 2 – Cold Starts are jam packed with CMMS tips and tricks for building flexibility into your workflows to be prepared for these types of events.
In this webinar, Joanne quickly recaps some of the key highlights including;
41:00 Using color-coded startup and shutdown maintenance types to view maintenance logs by type or create startup/shutdown dashboards.
42:30 Using event-based triggers to generate startup/shutdown work orders. In Joanne’s example, she triggers an event-based, multi-asset SM on just one cooling tower asset and startup work orders are automatically generated for all other assets, in this case all assets in the HVAC category.
45:38 Whether to pause SMs or change the status to incomplete. Hint: We prefer changing the status.
47:15 Prompted by a question from the audience, Joanne gives her tips for “pitching with data” to get maintenance windows approved when faced with increased production demands.
5. Choosing and using new tech
49:23 We’re seeing more and more maintenance teams taking advantage of the latest software and systems to build resiliency. From relatively simple tech like mobile devices to eliminate shared workstations and facilitate enhanced communication. To the acceleration of IoT initiatives in an effort to reduce the number of necessary workers in the facility. It’s time to rethink the jobs we do by looking at the new tools that are available to us and how we can leverage technology to be more efficient.
6. Connecting people and systems
48:48 Joanne points out that there’s a software solution for virtually every business function these days. Most of these systems do one thing and do it really well. However, when we try to stretch one software solution to work for every department, we quickly discover that a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none.
Luckily, it’s easier than ever to integrate your business systems, such as an ERP, with your Fiix CMMS. Enabling each team to use the software they need for their day-to-day while still creating one “source of truth” for your entire business.