6 things we’ve learnt from working in lockdown

25/09/2020
The pandemic has thrown us all into an involuntary and constant state of working from home. Whether you prefer remote working or not, there’s no denying we have had to adapt quickly. We've been talking and listening to colleagues and here’s what we’ve learnt in the last few months…*

Empathy is important, especially during lockdown.

 

 People who have more awareness of their colleagues work patterns generally have a better personal experience of lockdown. We’ve learnt that working remotely means we have to really work hard to understand what our team are doing, so we can collaborate effectively from a distance.

Working from home is more productive – if you have the right set up.

 

 97% of DCC colleagues who have their own dedicated office space feel more productive, compared to 79% who are sharing a room, such as a living room or dining room, at home. There always needs to be a safe office space available for those colleagues who are struggling to work from home due to an inadequate working set up or for their mental wellbeing.

Try to avoid multitasking when collaborating with colleagues remotely.

Team calls can be exhausting. When you’re sitting in a meeting room, you can concentrate on what someone is saying, and look them in the eyes. However, on Microsoft Teams or Zoom, you lose the ability to read people’s visual cues. You’re constantly battling to focus, whilst messages or emails are popping up on your laptop. Try shutting down Outlook when you’re collaborating with colleagues or in important meetings and where you can, mute instant messages.

Distinguishing work from home is the new way to work/life balance.

 

The vast majority of people feel like their work/life balance has improved since working from home, particularly as they don’t have the average commute of around 130 minutes per day. However, it’s been hard to establish that balance, as we don’t have the differentiation between work and home anymore.

Trust always wins.

Colleagues have been impressed at the trust the DCC has shown in them during lockdown. The old-school beliefs of needing to watch your colleagues at all times to check they are working have been forcibly scrapped. Colleagues can be trusted to log on every day and maintain, or even increase, productivity, proving that flexibility and trust always wins.

The pandemic has driven collaboration in a much more effective way.

 

Working remotely has pushed us to ensure we are always checking in on each other. Without the informal chats in the office kitchen whilst making a cup of tea, we are reaching out to colleagues and really asking how they are doing. We’re evolving the way we hold meetings, making them shorter to allow time to prepare for the next one.  We’ve introduced a ‘quiet time’ between 12.30 and 13.30 to help colleagues relax and discouraged meetings after 17.00 to help with family life.  We’ve added in time just for a social catch up, hosting quizzes and games, and doing all that we can to stay connected, even though we are apart.  

*stats based on employee survey completed by 239 colleagues at the DCC.