Extra Credit

Episode #12: Pros and Cons of Working from Home as a Credit Professional

June 16, 2022 NACM Episode 12
Extra Credit
Episode #12: Pros and Cons of Working from Home as a Credit Professional
Show Notes Transcript

On this week's episode: challenges creditors face while working remotely; tips for connecting virtually with colleagues; and how time management just got more difficult.

Annacaroline Caruso  0:10  
Welcome back to another episode of Extra Credit, a weekly podcast from the National Association of credit management, where you can expect to hear from different credit professionals each Friday. We will help you stay informed about the latest in the B2B credit world, my name is Annacaroline Caruso and editorial associate here at NACM. Now let's dive into this week's top stories. First, we're taking a look at the pros and cons about working from home as a business-to-business credit professional. According to a recent News poll, roughly 44% of credit professionals are still working remotely either part time or full time. And of those still working from home, 33% say they struggle maintaining connections with colleagues.

Amanda Buskill  0:52 
For me, more of the challenge has been on the personal level, the day-to-day interactions that you have with your colleagues, you forget exactly how much time you spend just chatting with people and how quickly those little random two three minute conversations can really make the day flow better.

Annacaroline Caruso  1:12 
That's Amanda Buskill, an account manager at Gexpro. She says while remote work has a ton of benefits, it's important to recognize the challenges as well, especially for a profession.o dependent on the customer creditor relationship,

Amanda Buskill  1:27 
you don't overhear your colleagues on a regular basis anymore. So you're not as intune to the customers and branches that they deal with. Because you're not overhearing the conversations. So you know, like when they're out and you have to cover for them, you're not as familiar with their package as you would be having sat next to this person and overheard conversations with the customers and with the branches.

Annacaroline Caruso  1:49  
But remote work is likely here to stay, challenges and all. So how do you overcome the obstacles? Christopher Littlefield is an author and speaker about employee appreciation and workplace culture. He says nurturing relationships in the virtual world requires a bit more effort and some creativity. Here's some ways he says you can do just that.

Christopher Littlefield  2:10  
So I think one of the fundamental things that people forget is that it is still about human relationships, regardless of whether we're in the office, whether we're working remote, or we're in the office in some sort of hybrid model, the one thing that hasn't changed is it in order to engage people, you have to engage with them, it's still a human being on the other side, the big thing that has changed is we don't get those normal physical cues that we may have gotten when we been in the office, but we're connecting in this virtual world, right, we have to actually make time to connect with people to be able to build that in. And so a couple rules that we shared in the workshop, and I shared in my book is that you always want to make time for connection before content and always make time for gratitude before goodbye. Right. And one rule that I try to live by whether this is virtual meetings, or in person meetings is the 1/6 rule is that for every hour of meeting time, 10 minutes of it should be used for relationship building, if it's a two hour meeting, 20 minutes, if it's a three hour meetings, no one should have a three hour virtual or even in person meeting that is inhumane, right? And then for every six meetings we have one of those should be used just for talking about how we're working together and building relationships, right. And then what we want to do is just incorporate ways to connect with people. This doesn't mean we need some big game or big activity, it may just be starting with a welcome question. And one of my favorite ones to use is just in the beginning of every call, ask people what were you doing five minutes before you joined this meeting today? And the reason why we ask that is we trigger empathy and remember that people are coming from something and going to something and it reminds us to think about that and then incorporate one other questions. So we learned something about what people are dealing with what they're doing with their life, what's making them excited. So we're taking time to connect on a human level before we jump into that business. So always connection before content, gratitude before goodbye, the 1/6 rule, using questions for connection and just taking time to remember that on the other end of the line is a human being trying to do their best in extremely challenging situations.

Annacaroline Caruso  4:15 
Check out the most recent eNews if you're interested in learning more about the benefits and challenges of working from home as a credit professional. Also happening this week, credit professionals need to be highly skilled at time management in order to manage all that comes across their desk. But this new work environment has skewed our perception of time, making it more challenging to juggle multiple projects. Tracy Brower is an award winning speaker and sociologist. She says reevaluating priorities is a good way to start spending more time on the things that matter.

Tracy Brower  
This week we have such a great opportunity to talk about new insights on time management. So interesting right now our sense of time has changed because things have been so inside out and upside down. We've literally had a sense of temporal disintegration where many of us can't even remember what day it is. But also people are struggling with more time poverty and time scarcity. And what we want to really talk about is how do we perceive time? And how do we create more time abundance. So we talked this week, and there's the recording available about insights on time, how we think about time how we perceive it, one of the things that is really interesting there is when we are having novel experiences, or when our experiences are kind of infused with extra emotion, like, maybe it's a special thing that we're doing on vacation or a big problem, we're solving at work or, you know, a really important moment in our lives, time tends to slow down. And when we're doing things that more are more routine, time can speed up a little bit. But we also talked in the recording about, you know, how do we have more focus and make really good decisions about where we say yes, and where we say no, so we're spending our time on the right things. And then we talked about how can we get more done, you know, like, how can you link tasks? How can you really think about the the way that you're organizing your day? And then we talked about, how do you get more time period? Like how do you perceive more time, and I think that one is especially interesting, because while we can think about time as being pretty linear and operating in a pretty systematic, predictable way, we can actually increase the perception that we have more time for example, by doing more in the right kinds of areas of our lives, or by looking for opportunities to experience.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai