Having spent most of my career on the road I’m not at all used to working from home – so this new lockdown situation has taken some time to adjust to.
We’ve all had to make significant changes and many of us have had to adapt to the new ‘normal’. I wanted to share some aspects of working from home that I’ve found to be the most challenging, as well as the things that have helped me settle into this new routine.
One thing is that I have to consciously factor in breaks. Whereas a day in the office or on the road meeting clients and customers is punctuated by meetings, coffee catch ups and ad hoc conversations, at home I’ve found myself neglecting breaks from my desk and slipping into always being available. Taking regular, short breaks has been increasingly important to pause, reflect and recharge.
In the same way, it’s no longer so easy for me to separate my personal and professional lives. I’ve found the trick to this is creating a well-defined routine and sticking to it diligently – that’s probably the German coming out in me. Each day I take a full hour at lunchtime to walk my dog, and every evening I make time for dinner with the family and to ‘meet’ my friend online for yoga. Protecting these times has helped me to balance work and personal life, at a time when the lines seem more blurred than ever.
Another important challenge is staying mindful. In 2018, I attended a mindful-based stress reduction course and learnt techniques on how to relax, meditate and accept things outside of my control – all of which has been particularly helpful.
I’m energised from social interaction and find it particularly important to stay connected with colleagues. My new “Virtual Coffee With Annette” (VCWA) has been keeping my team in touch, and it’s been a pleasure to get to know everyone better, and so quickly, having only joined Colt in January.
Finally, I believe it’s important to reflect on progress and what we are doing well, despite new challenges. A friend gave me a good recommendation to reflect and ensure that you accomplish something each day. At the end of each day, she sits down and makes a note of three things that she has achieved and one she wants to accomplish the next day. Looking back at the end of the week reinforces the successes and progress she has made.
Whilst we’re looking forward to restrictions being lifted, sharing our experiences is important to stay connected and reduce any feelings of isolation. Whether it’s a change of routine, being more flexible in your day, connecting with others more or prioritising time for reflection and quiet, we each need to recognise what works best for each of us.
Annette Geuther, VP, New Business Development, Colt Technology Services