Meet the Team - Working from Home - Admin Team

While we face working from home for the foreseeable future, we chat to our staff to find out how they are finding the reality of working from home. This week we talk to the Admin Team who share their experiences!

Martin Hall

How are you finding working from home?

I’m really enjoying it – to be honest, it’s quite helpful as I can be at my desk straight away! I find it hard at times because it’s difficult to switch off – your computer is just there so it’s easy to say “Oh I’ll just quickly do that” then before you know it, you’ve ended up working for a couple of hours. From a team perspective, I think we have adapted really quickly which has made the transition very easy.

Benefits of working from home?

The “commute” is certainly an advantage! Ironically, I think working from home has brought the team closer together – this situation makes you appreciate things more. I also enjoy being at home with the dogs – there’s always one around to have a cuddle every now and then!

Negatives of working from home?

Trying to take calls with clients and record episodes for our new podcast “Front Line” while the dogs are barking presents a large challenge. I’m finding that I’m quite often working 15 hour days to balance client work, queries and help keep the company moving forward in a forever changing situation, means that I’m not getting a lot of downtime at the minute.

How are you communicating with your team?

We are using Microsoft Teams to speak to one another then we have been messaging on What’sApp. Microsoft Teams is new to us but I suspect it will become a permanent part of our business going forward. Sometimes, but only sometimes, we use that crazy method of a good old fashioned phone call!

Are you doing anything fun to keep healthy during this time?

I’m continuing to exercise indoors on my bike then I walk the dogs. I’m trying to snack less which is really hard and not going too well! I’ve also been trying to bring in a little fun on our daily team calls with various themes – I think it’s just as important to keep your brain healthy too.

Any tips of keeping your motivation while working from home?

For me it’s a difficult time, but people live around the globe living to mouth, with little food available, very little ability to travel except on foot. If I need to do it for three months or a year, we’ve not really got it hard most of the time. So this situation shouldn’t be un-motivating

Also challenges are good. We run marathons, do step count challenges, this is just another challenge on our list. We need to adapt, learn and develop – I’m keen to try and take something positive out of this terrible situation.

Matt Gooding

How are you finding working from home?

I found it strange at first but I’m settling into it nicely.

Benefits of working from home?

I get to spend a lot more time with my dog Bane, and Debbie my wife. Not that I’m listing in any particular order! I’m finding you have to get creative to find solutions to issues that wouldn’t exist if we were working in the office but everyone has pulled together and helped each other out. I’m also finding more time to cook which I’m really enjoying.

Negatives of working from home?

We generally have everything available electronically, however, we do sometimes need access to documents from physical files which can be frustrating when you’re in the middle of a job. It’s not as easy to speak to clients or colleagues because they aren’t always available.

How are you communicating with your team?

We are using Microsoft Teams, Zoom and WhatsApp. It’s been good speaking with everyone in our team meetings.

Are you doing anything fun to keep healthy during this time?

Not particularly, I’m walking the dog and trying to do lots of stretching to keep my neck and my chiropractor happy!

Any tips of keeping your motivation while working from home?

Get into a routine quickly and have a set time that you are going to switch off so you know how long you are going to be working for. It’s important to have some time to yourself to relax.

 

Rachael Storey

How are you finding working from home?

It seems to be working well, I’ve got a good routine now so things seem to be running relatively smoothly! I find that time goes really quickly too which is a bonus.

Benefits of working from home?

It definitely has to be that I no longer have to commute into work at the moment! It saves me so much time. I’m also enjoying structuring my day to suit me, for example, I can start and finish earlier, or I can take some time out in the day and then do a bit of work in the evening. It’s good having that flexibility.

Negatives of working from home?

I’m finding the lack of social interaction difficult as it’s nice to speak to your colleagues in person whether it be a work query or to have a quick social chat. Some tasks are taking a bit longer now – thing that I have previously taken for granted when I’m working at the office, for example printing, scanning etc.

How are you communicating with your team?

We have daily Zoom meetings with a fun theme each day to keep it social and light-hearted. We are using Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp throughout the day for calls and messages.

Are you doing anything fun to keep healthy during this time?

I have a daily walk with my puppy, Cooper. I’ve not yet tried any of the online or virtual fitness sessions which are now available, I suppose I’ll get round to trying them out one day!

Any tips of keeping your motivation while working from home?

Keeping good communication with your team and those in your household is important. Try and log off at a reasonable time so you can still enjoy your evenings at home.

 

Basil Bielich

How are you finding working from home?

I am quite enjoying it and I feel it has brought our team closer together. We have set up morning calls on Zoom with the team where we catch up on how things are going and share views on various subjects which I think helps us start up for the day. I seem to be getting more done as there are less distractions around. I did have a dress rehearsal last year when I was off ill for three months so it is not new to me!

Benefits of working from home?

I seem to have more time in an evening - I live 30 minutes from work and the extra hour allows me to do so much more. I’m able to go for more walks with Penny and we are getting to spend more quality time together which is really nice. I’m also enjoy not having to get dressed in a suit every day.

Negatives of working from home?

I miss the energy of the office. There is a buzz in the office with everyone energised to do things. Home life is a lot quieter. I’m also missing the human interaction with the wider team at the office. There are the little conversations with colleagues that you don’t have when you’re not together in one space.

I also miss being able to visit clients and have face to face meetings – things can be easier to deal with when you meet in person.

How are you communicating with your team?

We have been using Zoom mostly and Microsoft Teams on the odd occasion.  WhatsApp is great for one and one chats or to message. I’m still getting phone calls and tons of emails.

Are you doing anything fun to keep healthy during this time?

I was lucky to have purchased a turbo trainer just before the lock down. I have sign up with Zwift and every evening I do a cycle in my conservatory. I’m slowly building up the distance and time spent on it! I’m lucky enough to live in the country so Penny and I go for long walks either early in the morning or once I’ve finished work for the day.

Any tips of keeping your motivation while working from home?

You need to get into a routine and have set working hours. Try to keep your work separate otherwise you’ll never put it down. I also thinking communicating with everyone at work is so important.

 

Laura Pover

How are you finding working from home?

It’s not too bad. It’s a very different experience, and it took a little time to get used to my home being my office.

Benefits of working from home?

I have more time to lie in so there is no need to commute to work in the mornings. I’m enjoying wearing comfy clothes and there are no large tea rounds! Bonus!

Negatives of working from home?

Not being able to speak with colleagues face-to-face and getting distracted by my dog wanting to play – it’s very hard to resist her puppy dog eyes…

How are you communicating with your team?

Really well! We are all just a call away and we have daily Zoom calls to keep in touch and keep updated.

Are you doing anything fun to keep healthy during this time?

I’m trying lots of home workouts and home Yoga/Pilates, which is helping keeping my mood up and it kills a bit of time during quarantine. There’s not a lot else you can do!

Any tips of keeping your motivation while working from home?

I try to get enough sleep and get some exercise. I think keeping hydrated is another important factor and try to organise your day so you have some sort of structure. Feeling positive and being organised has really helped me to stay motivated and it has been a really good stress reliever.

 

India Christian

How are you finding working from home?

It has been a challenge, adapting to working from home. However, I’m now enjoying it and have found myself just as productive as I would be in the office.

Benefits of working from home?

I live 20 miles away from work, so there are certainly advantages including saving fuel! I have loved having time to make healthier lunches for myself and being able to fit in short walk around my neighbourhood!

Negatives of working from home?

It does feel somewhat lonelier, not being with work colleagues during the day. It is good to chat with them throughout the day and our communications continue to be very strong. It is especially hard after finishing work, not being able to see close friends – as I normally would during the week.

How are you communicating with your team?

We are keep in regular contact via WhatsApp, Zoom & Microsoft Teams

Are you doing anything fun to keep healthy during this time?

I love walking, particularly where I live in the North of the Island. I also do HIIT exercise classes with my friend (over Facetime!!)

Any tips of keeping your motivation while working from home?

Keep a routine and try to take a lunch break.  

 

Becca Dugdale

How are you finding working from home?

So far, working from home hasn’t been as bad as anticipated. As a team, we have found easy fixes for issues I thought we might have to face which is great.

Benefits of working from home?

The extra 30 minutes of sleep each morning! Also, I’ve been able to spend more time with my family and dog, which is always a bonus. And finally I get to listen to music whilst working, which personally helps me concentrate more.

Negatives of working from home?

Our team gets on so well, that I miss the daily jokes and banter we have in the office, not to mention India’s brownies and Laura’s cake! Another negative is having to wait for a response to a query. When you’re in the office you can discuss your query in detail, where at home you have to wait for a response.

How are you communicating with your team?

We have daily Zoom meetings each morning, and each day has a different theme. So far I say the best theme has to be ‘bad make-up day’ – some of the boys really went for it! I feel the themes start your day off on a fun and positive way which really helps set your mental attitude for the rest of the working day. As well as zoom we are all set up on Microsoft teams which we use throughout the day to keep in contact if we have any queries.

Are you doing anything fun to keep healthy during this time?

Every lunch at 1pm my dad and I take the dog for a 30 minute walk, just to get away from the screen and get fresh air. Then after work I’ll go into the garden with the dog and kick a ball around for him (given its not raining!)

Any tips of keeping your motivation while working from home?

You definitely need to keep a normal routine as best as you can. Especially taking your lunch break. I think it’s important to take your lunch away from your desk and have that break, it’ll give you time to reset from the morning and start the afternoon with a fresh mind-set. Remind yourself this is only a temporary situation and each day is another day closer to normality.

Adam Morton

How are you finding working from home?

I’m finding it frustrating at times but I have the exact same set up here at home as I would have at work so it’s not too bad. I couldn’t deal with only having one monitor, it would drive me mad!

Benefits of working from home?

Not having a commute is saving me an hour of travelling to and from work every day and therefore I’m saving money on fuel which is great. I get to listen to music, which I’ve actually found helps me to concentrate – I thought it might slow me down, but it’s been the opposite. I’ve enjoyed having easy access to lunch and I’m enjoying spending more time with my annoyingly energetic border collie, Cassie.

Negatives of working from home?

I’m finding it harder to communicate with my team – instead of asking someone a question in person, you have to send them a message and await a response. I have a lot of questions! Scanning, printing and getting directors to certify documents is obviously much more difficult now.

How are you communicating with your team?

We normally speak on Microsoft Teams, which has been really useful. We initially tried Skype but Microsoft Teams is much more suited to what we need. We also use Zoom video call every day. Normally at 9:30am we have a group call and each day has a theme e.g. bring your breakfast, wear sunglasses, bad makeup (which I did not participate in!) etc.

Are you doing anything fun to keep healthy during this time?

I have a mini gym set up in my garage, so every day of the week bar one I will work out for around an hour just to keep my energy levels up. Having a one year old Border Collie helps to keep me active everywhere I go inside the house! I tend to stay inside on weekdays but at the weekend I will go out with my parents and our dog for a walk around Port St. Mary

Any tips of keeping your motivation while working from home?

The main thing to do is have a good routine – get up at the same time every day and try to work the same hours every day. If you have a good routine you’ll be instantly more motivated to fulfil the routine you’ve set yourself. Also, try and get plenty of sleep.

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