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blog: Adjusting to a new way of working

Author: Laura Marshall

The words “unprecedented times” certainly seem to be spoken a lot at the moment, and rightly so. It’s a strange and challenging time for everyone and it’s taken a few weeks of adjustment to settle into a new way of working. Although things seemed to turn around quickly, I personally feel like I’ve already learnt a lot from working at home and being more reliant on technology.

Mastering conference calls is an art

We’ve all been there… the awkward pauses due to drop in internet connection, the accidental mute of the microphone, or disruptions from pets and children. It’s not always easy! Just a few weeks ago, we would’ve all felt a lot more conscious about these challenges, but I think it’s now widely accepted that these things are inevitable as so many of us are working from home. Anyone up for a game of conference call BINGO?

Conference Call Bingo 2

Contact is key 

I enjoy working in an office because I like to be around people, so in this sense it took some time to adapt to the new social and physical distancing rules. Whilst I have my cat keeping me company at home, it’s just not the same as being able to catch up with friends and colleagues at work! But within the first week of working from home, it was great to see so many new ways of staying in contact being introduced. In the Nottingham office, we’ve had… 

  • Virtual coffee breaks 
  • Lunchtime 
  • Pictionary 
  • Lunchtime charades 
  • Friday night drinks on Teams 

There’s also been talk of virtual yoga and HIIT sessions at lunchtime, we’re just waiting on someone to volunteer themselves to lead these activities (who wants to compete with Joe Wicks?)! I’ve certainly valued this extra contact with my friends and colleagues. Despite us all being physically separated, we can continue to stay well-connected.

Working From Home Png

Workspace setup

It took a couple of weeks before I established the right workspace setup. For me, I didn’t want to work in the living room because I wanted to keep the environment I’m working in separate from the one I can relax and unwind in. 

I tried the conservatory because I thought the extra light and view onto the garden would be nice. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t have a proper table to work from. So, I’ve settled with the dining room.

It might sound silly, but I’ve found that getting the setup right has helped me stay focussed and adjust to the new lifestyle more quickly. Plus, I’m closer to the kitchen, so I don’t have to travel as far to grab a biscuit…

Getting the work-life balance just right

Establishing a routine has been really important for me. Yes, I could have an extra hour in bed, and yes, I don’t have to leave the house so could technically work in my pyjamas. As tempting as these are, I’ve chosen not to take this approach so I can continue to have some normality in my working week.

Whilst routine is key, it’s still very tempting to skip a break over lunchtime or continue working later than usual, because I can’t do much else anyway given the current circumstances. 

To overcome this, I’ve set myself a challenge of doing a walk or run a day (I have now become slightly obsessed with Strava!), either at lunchtime or after work.


And if I’m not feeling up to that, I’ll do something productive around the house. Both of these mean that I have a reason to close my laptop at the usual time and do something separate from work, all of which helps me to continue having a healthy work-life balance.

I’m sure there’ll be more to learn and new ways to adapt as the lockdown rules continue over the coming weeks. Stay safe everyone. 

Photo source: Conference call bingo, Geovation


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