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So, my first experiences of working from home were amazing! I LOVED it!
My routine was superb – put a wash on before work, hang it up on my mid-morning break. All while wearing my very comfortable tracksuit bottoms, teamed with my staple black turtle-neck (I love a turtle neck!) to look smart from the waist up.
Life was good – I was nailing it! It was the work-life-motherhood balance I’d always craved.
However, after a few weeks (say 6-8) things started to change. I no longer put that wash on, my tracksuit bottoms were wearing out and I didn’t seem to notice/care. I found it difficult to concentrate and was eating a lot of sugar and drinking a lot of caffeine thinking this would help, only it made it worse. My sleep quality reduced and I exercised less. My kids were in and out of school and my phone was pinging constantly with ParentMail or frightening news updates. Tasks seemed more difficult than usual and took longer. Things that wouldn’t usually bother me, really, really bothered me.
Then I realised, ‘This is actually quite tough.’
Regular engagement with team through virtual lunches, team huddles and a very supportive and nurturing senior team helped me to understand that – actually - everyone is feeling this. I was no different to everyone else, in fact, I was, dare-I-say-it ‘NORMAL!’
I think once I realised that no one out there is ‘smashing it’ just now, people are literally getting through as best they can, I felt better.
So much so, that I went online and purchased myself a few new pairs of tracksuit bottoms (and turtle-necks, obvs!) I started putting my morning wash on and going running again. I replaced the coffee with tea and the kit-kats with Greek yoghurt and fruit (most days). Whilst I wouldn’t say I’m ‘smashing it,’ I’m back in a good routine, I’m productive, and – just like everyone else - I’m doing my best.
I think for me, the things I’ve really learned about myself from working from home is how independently I can work; how disciplined I can be; and how productive (as opposed to busy) I can be.
My hopes for the future are a hybrid model; the buzzy collaborative and fun office, blended with the more relaxed and independent option of working from home.
Wow! Glad I got that off my chest!