Working from home: A survival guide

The commute may be effortless but getting that work-life balance right can be challenging when working from home. Sharing their top tips for staying productive and positive through all the video calls are some of our very own staff members.

 

Martin Skitt – Head of Finance

 

Make sure you get out of the house! I tried to make sure to at least do the school pickup when the kids went to school, now a walk around the estate to stretch my legs and physically get outside and let my eyes look further afield than a screen at an arms-length away.

 

Turn on your webcam. It makes such a difference to see another human being. I know it can feel awkward to have the camera on your face, but seeing someone else makes it easier to connect with them than if talking to a blank screen.

 

Ajay Patel - Head of Customer Innovation Group – Nordics, UK & Poland

 

For me, it has been important to be flexible where possible and to make time for the distractions from my little man.  I always try to eat breakfast and dinner with him so that he gets a better understanding of when Daddy is around and when he needs to be working.  It often means catching up on emails at odd hours but this takes off the pressure when I do spend time with him.

 

If at all possible, I would recommend people try to create a dedicated working space in their home, to recreate the sense that they are at the office. That being said, it’s important to remember that your house is still a family home first and an office second. It has taken some adjusting, but I have become more relaxed about my family making background noises, for instance, and in turn completely understanding of others who have the same noises and interruptions on their end.

 

Dom Fleming - Cross Application Services Analyst

 

My top tip would be to do the best you can with the time you have. At first, working from home was a real challenge for me.  I was trying to juggle being mum to a 7- and 6-year-old, schooling them while also trying to work full-time. I was putting pressure on myself to do all three (badly I might add) – and it proved all too much.  We are humans, not robots and it’s important we try to not put ourselves under too much pressure during these testing times!

 

Sensi Williams - Operations Executive

 

If you can play music while you work, do it! Music is a great stress release and can help to keep your spirits up throughout your working day, with the added bonus of you being able to sing out loud without anybody questioning your vocal ability. Did somebody say party for one?

 

Check in with your peers often - a simple “How are you?” can go a long way. It’s easy to send an email or a message to a colleague but hearing someone’s actual voice or seeing them on the screen can make it feel a little more like real life. Plus, there’s only so many times that you can write “LOL” in a team chat without actually raising your cheekbones!

Finally, get yourself into a good morning routine. Whether it’s a home workout, meditation or a good breakfast, don’t just roll out of bed at 8.59am if you have a 9am start, as your brain is probably still asleep even though your eyes are open.

 

Claire Fleetwood- Business Change & Improvement Manager

 

In order to maintain a healthy sense of wellbeing while confined at home, we need make sure to engage in rewarding activities when the workday is out. I’ve found it helpful to use the acronym ACE: Achievement – Connect with others – Enjoyment.

 

During lockdown, I joined a virtual Neuro Linguistic Programming evening class. I met many new faces, over the course of those 6 weeks, including the founder of ‘Gritty People’, Kay Woodburn, who I ended up inviting to join us as guest speaker at a recent LeadershipDNA event. The course felt like a real achievement; gaining new skills that could be applied to work and my personal life.

 

Every Thursday night during the door-step applause in support of our NHS, I connected with neighbours I would never normally see or chat with. We really came together as a community and now have a WhatsApp group which has gone onto become a real support network acting as neighbourhood watch. We even swap DVDs for the kiddies and share funny lockdown memes.

 

Seeing people running outside at the start of lockdown inspired me to buy a pair of half decent trainers and give it a go – I hadn’t run since leaving school many moons ago! To start with, I could only run for a few minutes before stopping to gasp for air, but I kept pushing myself a little further with every run. Now, I really enjoy running and it has been one of the biggest mood enhancers through this pandemic.

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Ajay Patel

Claire Fleetwood

Dom Fleming

Martin Skitt

Sensi Williams