Day 2 – Working from home during a pandemic

Day 2 of working from home, and the struggle is already real.

We’re not yet in lockdown in the UK, although I sense we’re not far off, particularly in London.

The Government’s decision on Monday to ask people to work from home where possible, came at a reasonable time for us. We already had Tuesday marked in as a company wide ‘test’ working from home day. This was scheduled so we could ensure tech etc worked ok when we were all out of the office at the same time, and to make sure this wouldn’t cause too much disruption for our customers.

Our ‘test’ day has now been extended until at least 6th April…

Living on my own, with just my cat for company for much of the week, means that working from home can get quite lonely.

I generally work from home one day a week in normal circumstances, and I can get through that fine, but I’m always glad to get back into the office the next day.

As much as I like my own company, I also need people. Talking through video cam and on the phone, just isn’t the same.

I’ve already had numerous checks ins with the team to make sure they are all ok. I currently manage 5 members of staff, each of whom are very different to each other, and have different needs. One of the challenges of working from home for such a lengthy period of time, is making sure you schedule the right amount of checks ins throughout the week. Not just to see how they are getting on work wise, but to make sure they are ok from a mental health and well being point of view too.

Only time will tell if we have the right plans in place. Things are changing daily here, and at a rapid pace. Planning is difficult in these weird, alien circumstances.

The other challenge, partly to do with working for a small company, are the differences in workloads, even across the senior management team. As I said in The End of the World as we Know it? I have enough work to keep me going over the next few weeks. But I am starting to get the sense that others don’t. Whilst the rest of SMT want to crack on and start planning for next season, it’s not so easy for me, as my job covers such a huge spectrum, on top of the fact I am currently recruiting to fill 2 gaps in my team! Recruiting during a worldwide pandemic is pretty bad timing in itself, as trying to shortlist and interview online is new territory for me! As it probably will be for most of our candidates too. But we are lucky that in a time when so many companies are cutting back on staff, that we are in a secure enough position to continue with recruitment.

The other frustration that continues to drive me insane, is the lack of foods in the supermarkets. I haven’t been able to buy fresh meat and vegetables for almost a week now…thankfully, I have at least enough toilet roll to last me another week…

Social time after working from home all day is also being limited. With social distancing in place, as well as local cinemas, theatres, museums and restaurants temporarily closing, it leaves very little to do in the evenings.

Coffee shops are reducing their services to only provide take away coffees, restaurants seem to be following suit.

I’m hoping to travel home to check in on my family briefly this weekend, but even that hangs in the balance. Whilst none of us are currently showing any symptoms, there appears to be little risk in me going, however, I can’t afford for circumstances to change in London if I go either. If a lockdown is enforced, none of us really knows what that means, and I have my cat to get back to as it’s not fair to take her on the 2-3 hour journey home with me.

I don’t want to keep writing about Covid 19, but at the moment , it’s hard to write about anything else. I desperately want to finish writing about my trip to India, but it just doesn’t seem right to be gushing over my travels when so many people are having to cancel their travel plans right now.

I will try to write about some cheerier subjects soon, but for now, I’m going to use my blog for how it was always intended…as a way for me to get stuff out of my head to allow me to focus on the things that really matter.

If you have any coping mechanisms for social distancing or working from home for extended periods of time, I would love to hear from you 😀

How are you coping with this pandemic?

My working from home set up

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