An internship is a program designed to provide an immersive and practical experience for beginners in their respective field. With less than three months on the job, there are already many challenges involved in making every minute count. What happens then when you add in interning remotely? In these cases, only internships with the right services and mindset will provide the best experience.
Yorktel has continuously embraced its vision to be a leading unified communications and collaboration services provider throughout the years. It’s this goal that has allowed my personal internship to be so successful. In the past, I’ve had one other internship where I worked remotely, and unfortunately that experience was not at all satisfying. In that position, I communicated with my coworkers solely through phone calls, text messaging, and emails. With just these three platforms, it was extremely difficult to schedule regular check ins for assignments, which resulted in me having to make major changes after submitting a draft. Not only that, until I took a business trip out to visit the actual company, I did not feel as if I had any relationship with the people I was working with. The entire experience was so trying, I had many doubts when I first began at Yorktel. With my internship coming to an end soon, I can confidently say that my time here has been both eye-opening and a pleasure.
I was able to work remotely while being effective because of the different services at my disposal and the way the staff interacted with each other. First, I was able to easily communicate with my coworkers and supervisor using Yorktel’s own Univago service. I was also able to set up meetings with people in case I needed some extra direction or to just discuss some of the assignments in further detail. Once the meeting was made, it would then automatically schedule onto my Microsoft Outlook calendar. A short while before the scheduled meeting, Outlook sends a notification reminder which includes the direct link for the private Univago video conference. While on the call, my Skype for Business also synced up to show that I am in a meeting. This last part was very helpful when I was interning as I could easily scan Skype for Business to see if my coworkers were free to talk. I never accidently messaged someone when they were in a meeting or were presenting something; instead I could schedule an impromptu meeting with someone when both of us were available. At this point, all the different services I’ve used have all been unified and worked together to get me to an efficient and reliable call. This has also allowed for me to easily switch between just audio calling, video calling, messaging, or making appointments. As such, people who have these UC systems can quickly adapt to and choose which technologies work best in different situations and for their own style. By utilizing the best platforms for my personal situation, I was able to work well from both my college and from the office, even when I wasn’t seeing my coworkers in person.
Another important aspect of Yorktel was how much emphasis is placed on video conferencing: Having video meetings with people was extremely important as it allowed me to feel as though I was communicating with them in real life. Seeing someone’s facial expressions while talking with them makes it a much better experience rather than just hearing their voice. This also allowed me to get to know my coworkers and my supervisor as if I was working in the office with them every day. My relationship with them went beyond just a worker that followed assignments and directions; I was able to instead build a real relationship. Studying both psychology and economics, I can confirm that having positive interactions and relationships with coworkers allows for the best engagement and productivity to flourish. I not only felt like I was a part of the company and team, but I also was more motivated to work hard and bounce ideas off coworkers. Video collaboration tools have clearly been proven to significantly improve employee engagement which in turn enhances work experience despite not working in the office.
While I only got to spend a couple of months working for Yorktel, I really got to experience the new age of a digital worker. The word “remote” is generally tied to connotations of being separated from the rest of the workforce and struggling alone on assignments. However Yorktel has made great strides in changing the perception and reality of what it means to work remotely. Whether I was on the go or working from outside the office, the different services and platforms I could utilize allowed me to feel as though I worked in one space with everyone. Hopefully, all my future workplaces will also understand the importance of having unified communications and collaboration for the sake of improving every worker’s ability to be efficient.