Working from home sure has its perks. No busy commute to contend with, more flexible working hours. And you can forget ALL about those air-con wars from the office! But we also know that almost a year into the pandemic, working from home has brought with it some challenges. We understand the difficulties in balancing work and home life and how hard it can be to switch off when the lines between the two become blurred.
Almost one in five adults were reportedly experiencing some form of depression during the coronavirus pandemic UK (June 2020). So it’s important to take the time to check in with your team and see how everyone is doing. Here at FreshGround, we make sure we stay in regular contact to support each other. And recently, we took a moment for our team to share some of their insights on working from home. We share the highs and lows of lockdown and reveal what we’re all missing from the FreshGround office, and no – it’s not just our coffee!
Some of our team reported they found working from home to be less distracting than being in our often busy and bustling office, enabling them to get on with tasks and be more focused. However, others have found the opposite to be true. Balancing childcare has naturally been a huge challenge for parents, especially while schools have been forced to close. Sharing homes with family members, housemates and pets while trying to concentrate on work can also cause distractions. And we can’t deny that the kitchen fridge and its many delicious snacks have played their part in distracting our working days at times!
Worryingly, although not unexpectedly with lockdown’s stay at home orders, some of our team have been experiencing feelings of loneliness. Nearly every one of our team remarked how it can be sometimes hard to feel truly connected when working remotely. It seems that for all the technology we’re using – whether that’s WhatsApp groups, Microsoft Teams, Zoom meetings and so on – nothing can replicate physical face to face interactions. We know they definitely help. And for now, they form a vital lifeline to keep us connected and our workplace culture strong. However pretty much everyone here at FreshGround will be pleased to get back to the office in some capacity soon.
Some top tips from our team
Our challenges are no different from any other office team that’s been dispersed since the pandemic. On the whole, we’re keen to get to a place where we have the flexibility and agility to work in both the office and from home as and when needed. Throughout the last few months, our team have found ways of coping with working from home and we share just a few of these for you below!
Zoe, Marketing Assistant
Get dressed how you would if you were going into the office if you can. It can help to put you in a positive and professional mindset and be more productive on days when it’s hard to be motivated.
Craig, Workshop Manager
Invest some time in making your workspace really work for you! Have art on the wall if that inspires you and add plants to give colour and life to your home office. I’m into Feng Shui so I’ve made my space comfortable inline with these principles to maximise productivity and creativity.
Richard, Marketing Director
Great coffee is what keeps me going through the working day, but just because I’m not physically in the office, I don’t have to downgrade to a cup of instant! We make sure we have the same great FreshGround coffee at home so I’m just as productive, motivated and alert whilst getting my quality caffeine fix!
Claire, Finance Manager
I actually enjoy our virtual communications in the team even though nothing beats seeing people face to face. I enjoy our chats on Zoom, collaborating via Microsoft Teams and our WhatsApp groups are great for keeping up with business news, but also for that much-needed social interaction that a lot of us are missing from the office!
Malcolm, Client Experience Manager
A lot of us are really missing the buzzy, vibrant atmosphere of the office so once there are more of us back in the office as lockdown is eased, we’re considering putting a live feed into the office. This could be an interesting way to connect those that are working from home with the pulse of the office and feel more part of the FreshGround team action!
Laura, Sales Administrator
I’ve made my working space at home really comfortable which helps me to stay focused and be more productive. I invested in a nice office chair and desk and I’m lucky to have a great view out to my garden with lots of natural light. I make sure I switch off at the end of the day, pack away some of my things, close the door and try to create that boundary between work time and home time.
Eric, New Business Development Manager
I’ve found WhatsApp to be a real lifeline during these long months working from home. The instantaneous nature of the platform means we can ‘ping’ each other and stay in touch really easily. I’ve found it’s also a great platform to openly encourage creativity and generate new ideas from all team members – whatever level in the business we are.
Jess, Marketing Manager
Make a concerted effort to check in with people. I’ll sometimes just phone a colleague to say hi and not even specifically to chat about work. I also enjoy a silent Zoom session, where we’ll have our screens on while we get on with our tasks and just keep each other company.
Tell them you care!
We’d love to hear how your team is getting through lockdown and any tips you’ve found to help to stay connected while working remotely. It’s challenging to keep workplace culture strong right now. So you can show your people you care by sending Perks boxes which have all the treats they enjoy in the office. We’ve also launched CoffeeKit which is a personalised portal where your team can pick and choose their favourite office treats and we’ll deliver them direct to their home. Simply call us to find out more today.