Real life stories: working from home during lockdown

Occasional working from home is normal for our network of Business Development Managers. So, wfh during lockdown shouldn’t be any different - right?

Wrong. Under normal circumstances the kids are at school, meetings are face to face and there’s always the chance of a trip out in the car. It’s safe to say that the lockdown version is a bit more challenging. So here are our BDMs with some working from home words of wisdom.

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Jon Rawley, South Devon

“Being confined to barracks is a different dynamic and can actually mean longer working hours, because every phone call and email suddenly feels more urgent. It’s very easy to start working earlier and finish later than normal because you’re never away from the phone, email, systems, so try to stick to a normal routine.

“Maintain communication with colleagues, brokers etc. Good communication is more important than ever, particularly with our brokers who need to be up to speed with fast-changing lender guidelines relating to payment holidays, furloughed clients etc.

“Don’t be tempted to multitask with gardening or DIY. Save that for lunchtime! It might be tempting to try and do everything, but end up not giving anything your full attention.”

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Jonathan Evans, Scotland

“Get active – I’ve built a home gym in my Garage. Get creative – I’ve been sketching and tying flies for fly fishing after office hours. Develop yourself – study if you have course or module to do. I’m sitting Chartered Institute exams for financial advice and I also listen to podcasts at night in bed.

“Get a routine and stick to it – get up at your normal time and finish at your normal time. Speak to your colleagues – call them and see how they are getting on. Email or blog – select a Skipton or market subject and proactively email brokers. I contact a couple of dozen brokers to speak to them and use my email as an in-road to start the conversation.

“Don’t watch the news – it’s all doom and gloom!”

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Rachel Hunnisett, South London, Kent, West Sussex and Surrey

“Since lockdown, working from home has taken on quite a new meaning. My home office off the kitchen is now one of the busiest rooms in the house, with constant foot traffic from two hungry children. Here are my thoughts on surviving and thriving in your new environment.

“Wherever your workspace is, make it a clear, defined place for working, away from the hustle and bustle of the house. Do what you can to make it your sanctuary and a place you look forward to going.

“Now that your work/home/kids/teacher/carer duties have collided, there aren’t enough hours in the day. At the end of each one, write down all the things you need to do the following day in all areas of your life, then rewrite that list in order of priority.

“It’s easy to focus on the low-productivity quick-win tasks. Instead, start your day with the one task that’s going to make you sleep well tonight knowing you’ve accomplished it for the day.

“We can also achieve something beautiful and worthwhile from this time. Strive to look back on this period of life as a time you grew from the challenge and tried something new. Talk openly and honestly with your peers and share your challenges. We are all in this together.”