Virtual coffee: 5 ways to take care of yourself while working from home

by Apr 6, 2020Awards alumni, Awareness Raising, Campaigning, News, Our networks

Though working from home is common, it’s a whole different kettle of fish when you’re forced to work remotely.

And for some, that kettle of fish is literal.

‘My partner cooked fish for lunch today – very inappropriate as my office area is the kitchen/dining table.’

That confession came from the LinkedIn group for Princess Royal Training Awards Alumni.

Alumni members, representing some of the UK’s most prominent companies, shared their tips this week on how to make the most of this unusual time.

Be consistent

Everyone agreed that routines give your day structure and purpose.

Consistency in your leadership can also give your team peace of mind in a world that’s rapidly changing.

They should hear from you regularly, so they feel a sense of belonging and support.

‘For me, it’s more important than ever for managers to do the basics of their roles,’ Peter Coats, Group Protection Academy Manager at Legal & General, commented.

‘[That includes] checking in with people, giving them time to talk about what’s on their minds, but also giving them focus – ie hold them accountable for being productive.’

This is especially important in a time when people experience so much upheaval.

Chat

Several alumni members use tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to keep up the flavour of being in the office.

They mentioned using channels like team wellbeing, COVID-19 updates, tips for keeping children busy, and a watercooler for online banter.

Some found value in short, informal morning catch-ups.

‘Our team have introduced daily virtual coffee chats at 8:45 for just 15 mins – optional to join – so we can chat and keep connected and the chat is not work orientated,’ wrote Matthew Harding, Leadership Development Manager at Lloyds Banking Group.

Other leaders have kept up morale with virtual pub quizzes and other small competitions.

As one alumni member commented: ‘we’re going to need to get creative as the weeks go by.’

Switch off

One of the most challenging aspects of this moment is mental strain.

Many are juggling new ways of working with other responsibilities like looking after children, taking care of relatives, and dealing with the stress of a pandemic.

To cope, alumni members suggested taking breaks.

And they don’t have to be anything elaborate. Even seemingly mundane things like taking out the bins or doing the washing up can be a welcome change.

Members are also strong advocates of shutting down at the end of the workday.

Since commuters are used to physically leaving an office behind, it’s even more important to pack up and switch off when you live in your office.

Move

Alongside taking breaks, it’s important to get the heart rate up.

‘It’s easy to be logged on for long periods and hardly move when you are working at home,’ Matthew Harding said.

Some members join their children in online PE classes, like the popular sessions from UK trainer Joe Wicks.

One alumni member has a triathlete in his team who runs virtual exercise sessions that cater to all ability levels.

A useful idea is scheduling exercise breaks in the diary just like any other meeting.

Take advantage

With all the mental, physical, and emotional challenges people are facing right now, it’s easy to forget the positives.

Some of the upsides include more time with family members and not having a long commute.

That’s why alumni members said it’s important to look on the bright side – quite literally.

One member of the group was grateful for the option to work outside in the fresh air and sunshine, especially while her husband at his fishy lunch!

No one knows how long we all need to stay at home. But some members are making the most of it by cooking an elaborate breakfast, doing yoga in the middle of the day, and conducting a Zoom meeting in a smart top and pyjama bottoms.

Want to be kept up to date?

Sign up to City & Guilds Foundation email alerts and newsletter

Previous posts

What we learned about making applications more accessible – for refugee women and for all

Access to training and learning opportunities is one of the barriers for refugee women with experience of seeking safety to start or progress their professional lives in the UK. This includes financial barriers, as well as other barriers related to accessing...

Improving young refugees’ educational outcomes through our partnership with the Positive Youth Foundation

At the City & Guilds Foundation we’re passionate about advocating for, and supporting, people who face barriers to accessing skills development. Two years ago, we looked at supporting refugees as a beneficiary group – and have supported a number of different grass...

Bookings now open for City and Guilds of London Art School Spring and Summer Short Courses 2024!

The City and Guilds of London Art School are delighted to announce the launch of their Spring/Summer 2024 Short Courses. A perfect last-minute gift for yourself or someone you love! Next term, they will be extending their pilot programme of Evening Courses with Spring...

Celebrating the very best training and development programmes in the UK and Ireland

Last week, 53 recipients from the UK and Ireland were warmly welcomed to St James’s Palace, in London, to receive their Princess Royal Training Award from Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.

Human-Centered Leadership: Nurturing Creativity, Connection, and Collaboration

We attended Anthropy this month. The second edition of a gathering like no other, set in the beautiful Eden Project in Cornwall to bring together leading voices to imagine a better world. It’s no surprise that leadership was at the centre of conversations as a tool...

Big Idea Fund: Five new projects awarded funding to unlock potential and support rehabilitation

Back in June we announced that we were inviting expressions of interest for the second round of our Big Idea Fund. The £1m Big Idea Fund was established in 2019 as the first major initiative of our Foundation, to support prisoners with upskilling to aid their...

Neurodiversity Index 2024

Did you know that in the workplace, 40% of neurodivergent employees say they are impacted most days in the workplace by their condition and only 32% of employees felt that they can disclose their neurodivergent condition? These are some of the key findings from our...

Empowering women to enter the construction industry

According to the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) (2023), women represent only 15% of the construction workforce. At the same time, the construction industry is facing a skills shortage suggesting that this crucial source of talent is being under-utilised....

Making a real difference, and genuinely changing lives

I have always known that City & Guilds is a force for good – helping millions of people to access skills. And it’s no surprise really that for nearly 150 years our purpose has remained the same – to help people, organisations and economies to develop their skills...

Podcast episodes

Share This