Before the pandemic, Avenue Living Communities (ALC) Call Centre employees would regularly find ways to help each other work more effectively in an office environment. From a supportive leadership team to an internal "In It Together" culture, the team have found these things have not been hindered by working remotely. They owe this to the use of technology aiding how they communicate.
"We adapted. Everyone is very hands on and responds quickly," says Carly Mashinter, a Resident Experience Specialist at ALC. "We're always updating our group chat, and everyone is really helpful by answering quickly so we can all do our work."
In the office environment, Resident Experience Specialists often work across two or more screens to ensure they can help residents faster. As the pandemic has moved the team into remote working conditions, most, like Mashinter, are now finding ways to work efficiently on a single screen.
"It has definitely changed the way I navigate to continue to respond to residents and prospects quickly."
Under the pressures of this changing work environment, patience and compassion are two traits Mashinter says she has grown during these uncertain times and are lessons she will take into the future.
"Working through the pandemic has definitely taught me patience. But it has also taught me compassion," says Mashinter. "The uncertainty is there, so displaying that empathy towards residents and coworkers is important."
As Mashinter has proved her ability to adapt under pressure, while maintaining great customer relations, she credits the leadership team. She says management has a very good work ethic and communicate consistently to ensure team members have all the help they need to succeed.
"There's extra support from the leadership team. They have been really helpful. They are understanding and go above and beyond. They are also very strong together, and that is important."
"Even though our technology is different, we have been able to maintain our answering times for our residents," says Mashinter. "It's important to know someone is there to help."
Mashinter also says the open communication that is present at ALC throughout the pandemic helps her feel safe, as the company provides many support channels for employees.
While ALC's head office has started returning, many employees moved to remote working conditions over the course of the year, and Mashinter was one of the first to do so. She praises her ALC colleagues for being "In It Together," to ensure the transition was smooth.
"It was scary at first," says Mashinter. "But having that reassurance from the team motivates me. I know I can answer residents' questions and concerns effectively with the support from team members."
While the support from the Call Centre team helps Mashinter do her job effectively, knowing she has made an impact to a resident or prospective resident also drives her work daily.
"A lot of people have lost their jobs. I had one resident who called and explained his situation – losing his job and not having anywhere to stay, no family to go to. I was able to provide him with the right resources," says Mashinter. "He said having somebody to listen to him helped him cope with the situation. And that's my job, to help people."