Rebecca Mapp | Office Operations Manager | Worktribe
In this blog, Rebecca from Worktribe shares her own experience of the ups and down of the last nine months, and distills a couple of simple but useful tips from seasoned home-office workers in her team.
When the first wave of news of the Covid-19 pandemic hit, there was an initial sense of cautious optimism, the feeling that it just might not happen to us in the UK. However, as the virus rapidly began to spread across Europe, like any organisation, our priority became to protect our staff and our clients. We took a pre-emptive decision to send all our staff to work from home on the 12th of March and to move all client meetings online. This was followed, a week later by the government announcement of a UK-wide lockdown.
We were highly fortunate that as a cloud-based SaaS provider, we could move seamlessly to working from home, with very little disturbance to business as usual.
The WFH honeymoon
The initial first few weeks of working from home felt somewhat like ‘survival mode’ and the novelty and flexibility of working from home felt fresh and exciting (and the extra 30 minute morning lie-in didn’t hurt either!)
I was enjoying the quiet space to think and plan and I felt more productive than ever. I established a new routine of getting up at a certain time and running at lunch, and using my free time to return to my creative roots (anyone for badly-done macrame?). I also started a Friday team Slack quiz at work to help lift people’s spirits and help everyone to feel more connected
However, a few months later, when the novelty of home working had worn off, the reality of the personal impact of working from home and the seemingly never-ending nature of the pandemic became more confronting.
As the bright days of summer passed and devolved into darker and longer days, the opportunities to get outside seemed to diminish, along with the feeling of separation between work and home.
I began to miss having my colleagues around me. As a close knit team, there was a lot to love about being in the office; going for lunch together, the sense of belonging and the opportunities for collaboration and creativity.
The pandemic also had a big impact on my role as pre-covid, I was heavily involved in event organisation, booking staff travel and managing the office, all of which had been paused due to the pandemic.
Although I still had plenty to keep me occupied and was being well supported by my manager, I began to feel disconnected. My weekly motivation to keep others afloat became more difficult when I, myself, was feeling so isolated.
The turning point came when I accepted that the pandemic wasn’t going to go away any time soon and I realised that in order to adapt, I was going to have to overcome the sense that this state of remote working was temporary, and build a routine that worked for me.
I decided to ask some of our team members (who have been working remotely long before the pandemic) if they had any tips, so here they are.
Tips for remote working from the team:
1. Start every day with a to-do list
2. Make time for water cooler moments
3. Give yourself permission to be rubbish some days
4. Set an alarm at 5pm
5. Talk about how you are feeling (or ask others!)
Worktribe kindly sponsored the AUA Autumn Conference 2020.
With over 180,000 users at leading universities across the UK, Worktribe is the ultimate platform for research and curriculum management. Worktribe’s evolving, cloud-based software transforms higher education administration through better collaboration, more efficiency and more transparency. It’s intuitive, secure and easy to integrate.
Join the 38 universities who stand by Workribe’s approach of “configuration not customisation” and work together to make sure that your software empowers higher education teams now, and in the future. You can find more information about the organisation on the Worktribe website.