When the new Government restrictions came in to effect just under a month ago, the Miller Leith team began working from home. I want to share with you the reflections I have made over this period and how I am overcoming this hurdle. I’m sure there would be many people in the same boat.
Below are my 5-key learnings during this period:
- Routine – Working from home can be a challenge with many things outside of my control happening in the background, ultimately leading to distraction. Creating a daily routine, I have found to be extremely important. The routine that works for me is getting my daily exercise complete in the morning, separating my day into blocks and setting daily goals and objectives in which I need to hold myself accountable to. I have found that by doing this, it gives me the edge and realistic feel as if I was in the office.
- Dedicated working space – Living in a small apartment on the best of days can be tough, so my first week working from home I thought “yeah no worries, let’s set up on the couch with the coffee table as my bench”. A week later I found myself with a sore back and I wasn’t working as efficiently as I normally would. The following day I created a dedicated working space which paid dividends to me straight away. It gave me focus and purpose to what I was doing, which is very important for me to perform at my best. I also found working close to natural light helped me, as it gets you away from the dreadful blue light which we are all exposed to.
- Daily Exercise – I am big advocate of exercise, health and wellbeing coming from a cycling background myself. I have always prioritised exercise in my day as it makes me feel happy and gives me a clear and determined mindset. I have noticed since being home daily, you can fall into the trap of laziness by saying “I will just do it later” which sometimes never happens. To combat this between my daily working blocks, I have created an exercise schedule which is simple and easy to follow which includes walks around my area, bike rides, runs and online HIIT workouts. Working out physically doesn’t just keep you in good shape, it determines your mood and mental health state which should be always monitored.
- Everyone is in this together – At first when I found out about Covid-19 I had no idea regarding the impact it could have. A week later, things started taking a turn for the worse. Since, I had never experienced anything like this, I panicked and thought “why is this happening to me”. Slowly the impact of the crisis hit and I realised it’s not just me going through this, everyone around me is too and that we all need to come together to get through this as a team. In my eyes now, it’s more important than ever to check in on the people around you and make sure they are safe and healthy. It’s great to see over social media and the community this is taking place and people are looking out for one another.
- Human interaction – I am someone who thrives off other people’s energy and loves being in a social setting. Not being able to yell out to my colleagues who sit next to me or speaking with other teammates, i.e. talking about “what we are having for lunch or dinner” is killing me. Since working from home, I don’t have that luxury and I’m not able to communicate with people so easily. I had to find new ways to adapt and make sure I was getting that human contact which I love. To do this, I set daily meetings with my team, make continuous phone calls with colleagues to check in on them, contact clients as much as possible and have as many real conversations with as many people as I can. Thankfully for technology, it is bridging this gap.
Zoom calls are slowly getting me back to myself and giving me that exposure which I need and by having fun with it too makes it all the better.