I thought I would share with you what I have been up to during the last couple of weeks.
We have been looking at how the team going forward can remotely work with other teams to improve involvement take up with other customers like yourselves.
So I took a step back and put on my old corporate world marketing head and boy have I had fun, been creative and produced, along with the team, some excellent work.
I have not been restricted to the small desk in the office, I have had papers, post it notes and a variety of coloured sharpies in my team and in all the chaos we have worked well together; me and my little team of stationery (and some help from the dogs!)
There are many things that I am learning about myself working from home and one of the most important things. I'm a morning person and find I can get a load done in the early morning hours, so this works really well for me.
I am more productive first thing in the morning and the beauty of working from home is that I can embrace the dark mornings with fresh ideas. My routine is getting up, taking the dogs for a walk – I call this my blue sky thinking time. This is when I get my best ideas. I come back make a coffee and crack on with the day. There is no peer pressure or communal obligations to get stuff done.
Although I do miss my colleagues, in the office they often pose the greatest threat to keeping you from getting some real, heads-down work done. They drop by your desk, engage you in conversation, and before you know it you have lost your train of thought.
Nobody sprints through their work from morning to evening – motivation naturally ebbs and flows throughout the day. When you're working from home, however, it's all the more important to know when those ebbs and flows will take place and so I have learned to plan a schedule around it.
To capitalise on my most productive periods, I save harder tasks for when I know I'll be in the right headspace for them. I use slower points of the day to knock out the easier, logistical tasks that are on my plate.
You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance, but we have to be careful as the ‘office’ is now part of our homes and is therefore open 24/7. I go to a gym session every day which is an allocated time, booked so that my work day finishes then as I have to leave the house. I also pack away my desk on a Friday and turn everything off.
Personally I think that this working from home has a massive saving for the organisation not only in terms of costs but also an increase in productivity, creativity, great for the environment and also mental wellbeing. I don't miss my hour commute each way to and from work. I don't miss organising clothes and lunches. I don't miss be so exhausted at the end of the week I dont really get a productive weekend. I dont miss working in a battery farm style office layout (I do miss the warm office though as am reluctant to put too much heating on yet!) I don't worry about my partner so much - so overall I dont worry as much!
We took part in a staff survey on what we all thought about the new working from home set up. We received feedback this week from our Chief Exec, Gordon Mitchell:
Working from home has been the most prominent change for staff, but 80 per cent said the new situation had either a positive effect or made no difference to their ability to perform their roles effectively. The majority of people describe their working from home experience as satisfactory.
As you would expect not having to spend time commuting, savings on travel expenses etc. have had a positive effect on many people’s well-being. They have said working from home has led to less stress, a better work/life balance and higher productivity. However, some others have found working from home a challenge, citing lack of team cohesion, unsuitable working space at home, some technical issues and missing colleagues generally as reasons.
It looks like we are going to be in this situation for a while now and so It would be interesting to see what your views are?