Working from home: How the Colt team is adapting

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Like most companies facing the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our employees have had to make a shift from working in the office to working at home. Those based in China, Singapore and Japan have been working from home for some time now and it’s been weeks or months now for those in Europe.

Our employee safety and wellbeing is crucial – it’s a stressful time for everyone and nothing is more important than making sure our employees and their loved ones are healthy and safe. Part of this is helping people adjust to prolonged time working at home, taking steps to keep conversations flowing and making sure people are taking time away from their screens.

One of the key things we’ve seen as a business is the rise in the use of social channels. Employees are utilising our internal and external social channels to connect with others across the business and outside our organisation. We’ve also seen a rise in video and collaboration software, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. They’ve been using these to check in with people, provide tips and tricks, and just offering general support to one another as we all adjust to these different ways of working.

We asked three of our employees about how they’re coping and what they’re doing to keep positive, motivated and productive:

Reshma Murphy, Senior Marketing Manager, Singapore

It’s been two months since I started working from home. These are the tips I follow to keep myself motivated:

  1. I make sure I’m away from my work desk after my working hours
  2. I’ve started eating healthier as I’m making home cooked food. I’m also drinking lots of water due to the proximity of my kitchen
  3. At home, I benefit from the constant fresh air
  4. I’ve been taking my vitamins on time and more regularly
  5. I’ve been making sure I get enough time to exercise. Because of the flexibility of being at home, I enjoy my walks in the evening to soak up some daylight
  6. I ping my colleagues on Skype regularly and try to have a conversation with them so that we all stay sociable
  7. I’ve also shared useful reading articles with my connections to help them with working remotely

Georgina Chu, Regional Head APAC Strategic Alliances, Hong Kong

From my personal experience (and I’m a BIG fan of working from home), I always start the day with an hour of workout, which would usually get me up to around 5,000 – 7,000 steps. Half way through the morning, I’ll plan my lunch for the day with the kids – using either Deliveroo or UberEATS. After a full day of Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and WeChat meetings, we have dinner at 6pm and then finish off helping my children with their homework. After a bedtime story with my kids, I usually spend an hour closing up the loose ends for the day’s work and reward myself with Netflix or Amazon Prime to close the day.

I’ve found where I’m saving time with commuting to the office, I’ve been able to enrich my day with additional activities. You can start your day by looking at your calendar and identifying the free time slots. These slots can be for a lunch break, snack break, reflection, exercise or catch up with your family members who are also working from home or schooling from home. Finally, setting up your work desk with your tech gadgets (headsets, chargers, adaptors) to get through the day is super helpful.

Lydie Barbisan Moisson, Senior Incident Manager, Barcelona

I still wake up at the same time as I used to and dress up as if I was going to the office. During my ‘commuting’ time, I go to my balcony instead. I am so grateful to have it! There, I do some exercise; legs, arms and whole-body warm-up and stretches.

I still “go out for lunch” with my work colleagues, which we do virtually. We prepare our food and meet on WhatsApp video by our balcony/window/terrace. The idea is to get some fresh air and a break from work, it definitely benefits our productivity afterwards. I’m still going to my evening yoga class like I used to, only now it’s a YouTube tutorial that is gentle for my body. I also make sure to schedule in my agenda video meetings with friends after work. I still go for a cup of tea with them at the weekend, only this time I make it myself!

Keeping my daily routine, I continue to have a defined time for work, to be healthy and to kick back, this helps to keep my spirits up. The physical activity beats the restlessness of being indoors all the time. I educate myself on the basics of Covid-19 to feel safe, but I limit my exposure to the news. I focus instead on what is in my control by respecting hygiene/isolation/distancing recommendations, and let go of the worry. All in all, I make most of what I have.

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