• May 2020
  • A PUBLICATION OF THE GREATER SIOUX FALLS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Time Management Systems

By Ashley Pugh, Marketing Coordinator

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Rewind back to March 23, 2020: Day one of Time Management Systems' remote working changeover. The same day our two official offices grew to 26 home offices. Reluctant to do so? Sure. Grateful to be in the type of business that remote working is possible? Absolutely! So, the decision was made: work from home. Computers, laptops and desk phones were hauled into employee cars, driven away and setup in makeshift offices.

During the first few days in our home offices, TMS employees showed off their new workspaces by emailing pictures to one another. Kitchen tables, spare bedrooms and basements now house our 8-to-5 lives. Kids screaming and dogs barking, along with optional showers, are the new norm for our TMS employees. We figured helping each other visualize our current workspaces would help everyone understand our personal challenges and the distractions that exist on the other side of the computer screen.

Fast forward and as I write this, we are at the end of week three of remote working. When you are working in a team environment that's remote, video communication is a perfect way to maintain connections with colleagues. We utilize Microsoft Teams to chat internally and hold our bi-weekly virtual meetings. At first there was a little reluctance among team members to turn on their cameras during our meetings. Knowing that most of us do not like how we look or sound on video was the key to getting over the hump and embracing everyone's true natural looks.

An Observation of Monday and Friday Staff Meetings:

Monday at 8 a.m.: Official, Company Meeting
Theme: Discuss open issues/strategize the week ahead
Employees: Well-groomed
Hair: Styled
Clothes: Blouse or TMS polo/jeans
Demeanor: Upbeat/happy to see adults outside of their house

Friday at 4 p.m.: Unofficial, Company Happy Hour
Theme: Discuss nothing/drink cocktails of choice
Employees: Unhinged
Hair: Women in buns/men wearing hats
Clothes: Oversized sweatshirts, sweatpants
Demeanor: Scatterbrained/tired

Both meetings are equally important to our company. After the pandemic is over and our organization is functioning inside our office walls again, one can expect that the employees will need to ease back into certain behaviors. One example: Being able to wear yoga pants for the first few weeks back. Another example: Allowing Happy Hour every Friday at 4 p.m. for at least the first year back to keep our sanity.

All joking aside, during this growing threat of COVID-19, TMS has taken the good with the bad. Our employees have stepped up the challenge of working without team members physically around them and continued with our mission in helping our customers. We continue to look on the bright side of every situation thrown our way and do so with a smile on our face and a drink in our hand (on Friday afternoons only). We are happy and proud to be able to continue serving our customers that need us during this time of need and do so efficiently.

Our owners have kept in touch with all their employees by dropping "goodie" bags off on each employee's doorstep. The first bag dropped was filled with Jolly Time's Koated Kernals popcorn. The second gift was an Easter basket filled with candy and other Easter-themed gifts and a nice note. It has been a fun and unexpected surprise to receive these gifts and to know we are still connected and they are still thinking about us.

It is easy to say our new work routine has not been easy. A better word might be manageable. Time Management Systems, backed by our fantastic owners Jen Vanderloo and Mindy Kroll, has succeeded in making the unmanageable manageable for all 26 employees in this company. They understand the big picture of the world and keep things light-hearted, all while focusing on keeping our business momentum moving forward.

Thank you to our Chamber News Premium Sponsors

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