Waking up early has always been a fixed agenda with two young kids. My wife and I now get up that extra bit earlier to get our morning run out of the way before having breakfast with kids before home schooling starts! - the kids are on just as many zoom calls as me these days!
At the beginning my workstation was originally on the balcony, which was not ideal. However, now that WFH has become a regular fixture in all our lives, I am now set up on one of the kid’s desks in the spare room. That works…. for now!
Key thing that has changed during this WFH period is that as a family, we are constantly together, so we have been forced to build more structure around our days, to balance home-schooling and work commitments. The weekends now become more of a light relief from the Monday to Friday structure. I must admit, also forgetting what it’s like wearing trousers and a shirt (which is not a bad thing!)
Lunch is always as a family. Getting the kids to eat all their food is the main activity/task during the lunch break.
I have also started to be more structured on what I eat now… nothing too heavy (which is easy to do) so I have energy when I go back to the spare room for the afternoon virtual call shift!
Keeping the team connected and motivated is important.
We have a daily check-in the mornings, and this is more of a water cooler moment, where people can drop in and out depending on what they have for that day.
However, we are all about continuity in these times, so we still have our morning ‘start the week’ outlining weekly priorities on the Monday and ‘Friday Highlights’ which is pretty much a ‘draw the line’ on the week.
We also have lunch on Fridays together when in the office (buffet Fridays) which is done over a call at the end of the week. Everyone brings a dish and we hangout, have some banter and play the odd game (my kids also have started to
It is hard for anyone to stay away from distractions and keeping focused while working from home – even for someone like me that is fairly focussed most of the time.
However, I have become more detailed with my daily and weekly priorities (listing them out as High, Medium and Low). At the very least, I always remain focussed on ticking off my weekly high priorities so I can spend time with the kids (which is the biggest distraction whether I like it or not!)
I have been surprisingly good at marking the end of the workday and find myself finishing up in decent time, so I can sit down with the family and have dinner, which was not always the case previously!
I am enjoying that element in these times. By saying that I’m not thinking of a glass of wine then too, will be a complete lie!
Pros & Cons for WFH
The pros for WFH is that teams have more autonomy to manage their time effectively to complete their tasks, they can be away from distractions that may occur in the office (for those that do not have kids!), communication/meeting actually becomes more efficient.
Although we have an hour meeting in the diary, we seem to be much more efficient of our time and making sure that every meeting is useful with agreed actions (as you don’t have as much chance to communicate in-between as if you are sitting next to each other!)
Lastly, I have a newly found respect for what teachers do 😊! There are the obvious cons too - I am all about face-to-face engagement and it is hard to read people sometimes on a video call.
Our team is lean, but very effective and we are incredibly inclusive. Not being together can be hard at times, which is why we put consistent ‘continuity’ measures in place weekly. You are also at the mercy of your WiFi connection (mine has been volatile, to say the least!)