Remote working. Social distancing. Self-isolation. These words have very quickly become part of our daily vocabulary and have found their way into our working lives. Despite uncertainty around the future, bid writers still have a job to do, and need to continue to write tenders.
Remote working is not a new concept, and lots of bid writers have been doing it for years – freelancers, as an example.
But what about those who are used to an office environment? Or even to those freelancers who work remotely, we bet you’re not used to being as cooped up as you have been in recent weeks?
With more of us working remotely, it brings about new challenges. But we have some practical suggestions to hopefully alleviate the downsides of managing bids in isolation.
Challenges and Solutions for Remote Bid Writing
Challenge: Anxiety around the pandemic
We are all very worried about COVID-19, but work must go on. It’s hard to block out all news and discussion going on out there, but it can sometimes get too much and can affect productivity.
Solution: Turn off the news during work time
It is important to keep up to date with all the information, but if it effects your work, then it’s best to absorb it later. We suggest tuning into the news twice a day (at most) – once in the morning, and once after you have finished writing. A lot of news changes day-to-day, but if you are already home, you don’t need to be so up to date. Depending on your work style, put some positive or calming music on in the background. It will make things feel more normal.
Challenge: Lack of resource
The uncertainty of this pandemic means that you don’t know if/when your colleagues may fall ill. It may mean that they are unable to work, leaving more tasks at your door. What do you do if you don’t have the capacity? Deadlines are always looming!
Solution: Outsource your bids
If you are short on resources, you can call on an external bid consultancy and outsource your bids. By adding a bid consultancy to your team, you will benefit from having an extra pair of hands, reduced costs from hiring staff and having expertise on tap to help you. For more on bid consultancy services, click here.
Challenge: More distractions in the home environment
Unless you live alone, working from home is likely to be a challenge for you, especially if you have young children or pets happy to have you home! The noise and interruptions from people you share your home with can make bid writing very frustrating, especially if you are used to a quiet environment where you can just get on with it.
Solution: Create office space in your home
If it’s possible (or if you haven’t already), it is good to designate a room or section of your home that will act as your office. This means that you can close the door on your homelife during your work hours. When you have finished, it means you can leave the room/space and return to your own free time. If you are stuck at home, it is good to differentiate spaces, so you don’t always feel ‘on’ and burnout.
Some people thrive working alone, but others need people around them to be more productive. Working remotely means that it’s you on your own. Sure, phones and emails make communication simple, but it’s not the same as being around colleagues and other bid writers.
Solution: Schedule contact time
Obviously, you will be in constant contact with your colleagues anyway, especially if you are collaborating on a bid. You can do this by using Skype, FaceTime, Microsoft Teams and all sorts of other video conference methods to keep in touch. But if you are used to having lunch with colleagues, or even just chatting in breaks, it might be a good idea to schedule calls with colleagues or send messages that aren’t relating to work – perhaps checking to see if they are well or just talking about things you would normally discuss with close colleagues. This will make you feel more connected to your team.
Challenge: Bid document management
How do you manage all the bid documents in your team when you are working remotely? You don’t really want to have to save them onto your desktop and send them via email. This is where errors can be made.
Solution: Bid Management Software
It is worth investing in cloud-based bid management software. It can be accessed anywhere, anytime. It means your team and clients can all access up-to-date data, as well as assigning tasks to other team members involved. It keeps all the bid documents in one place, and nothing gets lost. For more on bid management software, visit EasyPQQ.
These are uncertain times, and we don’t know how long it will be like this, where working remotely has quickly become the new norm. The important thing to remember is that things will return to normal, and in the meantime, we continue to work hard and focus on what we do best – writing bids!