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

by Apr 6, 2020Advocacy, Alumni, Connecting our communities

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.

What's your view?

Got an idea around how to address a Covid-19 challenge? Contact us via the form below.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Podcast episodes

[Podcast] Inclusion & Diversity Series: Race inclusion – supporting black talent

As part of the City & Guilds Foundation Inclusion and diversity events series, offering thought-provoking conversations and actionable steps to promote equal opportunities and improve inclusion and diversity in your organisation. this episode explores the...

City & Guilds announce new accreditation partnership with The Prince’s Foundation

In recognition of their shared commitment to the preservation of heritage craft skills, City & Guilds and The Prince’s Foundation have today announced a new partnership which will see students on a variety of the charity’s training courses receive internationally...

[Podcast] Inclusion & Diversity Series: Empowering LGBTQ+ people to succeed

As part of the City & Guilds Foundation Inclusion and diversity events series, offering thought-provoking conversations and actionable steps to promote equal opportunities and improve inclusion and diversity in your organisation. In this podcast we discussed...

City & Guilds – continuing to forge the skills for today, and tomorrow

Everything we do at City & Guilds is driven by our purpose.  Today we talk about enabling people to develop the skills which will get them into a job, help them develop on the job and be able to progress to the next job.  We also talk about skills being...

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Applications for funding opening 12 July 2021

We are delighted to announce that our friends at the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust will be accepting new applications for funding between 12 July and 16 August 2021. Talented and aspiring candidates can apply for up to £18,000 to further their education through...

Shaking up the cis-tem: LGBTQ+ inclusion

On Tuesday 22nd June I had the pleasure to attend the fourth webinar of the I&D series ran by the City & Guilds Foundation. The session's primary focus was how to best support members of the LGBTQ+ community bring their authentic selves to the...

There’s no such thing as an average person

The third event in the City & Guilds Foundation I&D series was on Wednesday the 16th of June. This time the focus was on developing neu​ro-inclusive workplaces. The speakers were Prof. Amanda Kirby, founder of website DO IT Solutions and Helen Needham, founder...

Fair opportunities: employing prison leavers

The second in a series of I&D events hosted by the City & Guilds Foundation went live on Tuesday the 8th of June, this time focusing on inclusion in the context of employing people with lived experience of the justice system. This event featured...

Breaking down barriers: race inclusion

On Wednesday the 2nd of June, I attended the first in a series of I&D events being hosted throughout the month by the City & Guilds Foundation. This event, which was focused on the topic of race inclusion, featured an insightful...

Youth Voices

It's been a busy few months, with lots of events happening and many opportunities to share mine & the Foundation's views on what we can do to support young people, especially those facing barriers, to engage with employment, now and into their future. Youth...
Share This