Coacto’s Lock Down Takeaways
On our regular morning call last week, we were trying to figure out how long it had been since we made the decision to work from home – it was at least 10 weeks ago! During that time it has been a real learning process for us as a company, as it has been for every other business out there. So, we wanted to bring together a few things we have learnt, both through working from home and life in lock down.
For Gary, who has been predominantly office based for the last 20 years, there have been a few challenges from working at home. Finding room to work in the house with enough space, minimal distractions and quiet enough to make calls took a bit of trial and error to get right!
He has also found a lot of benefits from working at home. As a self-proclaimed snacker, being at home has meant the office biscuits and cakes have been replaced by home snacks of fruit and nuts. Much easier to control when you’re in charge of what is on offer. Gary has also enjoyed the increased family time – being able to have all three meals with the children who would otherwise have been at school has been a real joy.
The walk to and from the office or car to office is sometimes the longest time people spend outdoors, but Gary has been prioritising getting out in the amazing weather we’ve been having. Eating lunch and dinner outside has become the norm, plus a daily morning run to keep up with exercising.
Dev put together this great example of how work has changed for him since being at home. He feels that his work has improved in quality, perhaps a result of having less stress in getting to the office and being able to spend more time with his family.
It will be interesting to see if this positive shift in productivity, which many seem to be experiencing, could lead to businesses choosing to allow employees to work from wherever they find suits them best. Perhaps a move away from large offices to shared workspaces with hot desks is on the horizon? Many, including Dev, have found that cutting out the commute has led to more time with the family – improving not only our mental health but our relationships too.
For Susannah, the shift to working at home has been fairly smooth (apart from needing to find space in the house for four adults to work at once!) and has helped her to be more independent in her tasks. Without being able to lean across a desk and ask a question, she has been figuring things out for herself. And managing okay!
Who would have thought at the beginning of the year we would all be using the word ‘zoom’ so often? It seems that even our grandparents are happy to jump on a zoom call or join in with a big family quiz. While the amount of zoom calls may sometimes seem overwhelming, it has been wonderful seeing people connecting with friends and family members who we may not usually chat with quite so often. A real pulling together of community. Susannah has also been involved with a local project called #FeedCheltenham, which has been working towards making sure the most vulnerable people in our community are supported and can still feed themselves and their families in this difficult time. (If you would like to know more about the project click here.)
Paul has worked from home on and off for over 20 years so it was an easy transition for him. For him, it’s been great to use the time normally spent on commuting or the school run to focus on spending time with the family. It’s also been great to slow down and take time to smell the roses, to focus on health and well being and enjoy the peace and tranquility. Getting out for walks regularly has been another positive, especially as the air is feeling fresher and cleaner at the moment!
Technology has been a great help, not only from a working benefit but also for keeping in touch with family and friends. It’s been good to retain good relationships with our customers, having video meetings and regular calls, making sure we are still available for anything that is needed. Thank goodness for technology!
As a team, we’ve noticed some real positives about lockdown. We’re lucky as a team to be able to work easily in our separate homes which many are unable to do. If you would like to know more about our values as a company you can find out more here.