Ever since we entered a period of ‘lockdown’, the team at theICEway have been sharing their remote working routines. We have heard from Lois about how she has substituted her commute with a long walk, from Owen on his pre-work power naps and we have also seen how James has transformed his garden into a unique, ‘MacGuyver-esque’ gym. This week is the turn of Freddy and Laura…
Freddy, how have you found the adjustment to not being based in the office each day?
I’ve adapted to working remotely very easily, this was certainly helped by having a desk set-up with dual monitors and my desk chair from the office, so it really does feel like I’ve got ‘Office Space’. To make it feel even more like the office I treated myself to a fruit bowl!
Glad to hear you have taken to it so well; take us through your day…
My day normally starts with my alarm going off at 7am, at which point, I will either snooze it for 10 minutes, or get straight out of bed – I usually go for the first option! Then I’ll take my daily vitamins. After this, I’ll quickly get dressed and head over the road to the rugby club for my morning exercise. I’ve downloaded the ‘Couch to 5k’ app, with the goal to have lost some weight and gained some cardio for my return to football when lockdown is over!
Sounds like an energetic start to the day!
I’m definitely trying to keep as active as possible. Once I’m home, I will shower and get dressed, and look to be logged in between 8-8:15. As soon as I log on, I’ll make sure I’m also signed into (Microsoft) Teams. The next thing I do is check my emails, and respond to any as needed, and check my calendar for the day, so I can note down any meetings I have. Then I’ll have a glass of Berocca, it’s important to top up the immune system at the moment!
Yes it is.
I’ll then begin with my work for the day, which currently is research and development of the training portion of the Microsoft Teams development. At about 10:00 I’ll have my standard breakfast of porridge oats, Greek yoghurt and fruit. Maybe a bit of chocolate if I’m feeling fancy.
Are you often feeling ‘fancy’?
Every. Single. Day.
Please go on.
At some point in the morning, I’ll also catch up with (my colleagues) James and Laura, have a general chat about life under quarantine, and talk about what we are working on currently.
Would you say that it is important to keep in regular contact with others?
Definitely, we would usually see other most days in the office and outside of work too, so we always like to stay in touch and make sure we’re all coping.
What do you do when the morning is over?
Well, between 12:00 and 12:30 comes my favourite part of the day… lunchtime! Being at home has been great for that, as there are no limits on what I can make – stock permitting. Sometimes it might just be leftovers from dinner the night before, and other times I’ll make something fresh for the day. Back from lunch, I’ll make myself a cup of green tea, apparently it helps aid with digestion! And then I will carry on with my work for the afternoon. I’ll break my afternoon up by having a quick catch-up or browse the Guardian website and then finish up my day at around 16:30.
What do you do once you are finished?
Weather permitting, I’ll try to spend some time in the garden and if it’s a Friday, treat myself to a customary beer!
Freddy Loft is a Training Consultant for theICEway and enjoys putting documents together and coming up with new ways to deliver training.
Laura, what change or changes have stood out the most to you since the team at theICEway started working remotely?
My morning routine, I think; as much as I have tried to stick to it, it has delightfully become much shorter meaning I can get a few extra z’s every morning! I also now no longer have to spend 30 minutes deciding on an outfit, putting on makeup and doing my hair. Not having to walk to work each morning also means that I have the time to organise some personal daily tasks that can be sorted out during the day, for example putting some washing on or preparing dinner for the night.
It sounds as though you are managing to stay productive.
I’m definitely trying to. When my working day begins, I start by checking my emails as this gives me an idea of anything I need to discuss with my team and gives me an outlook on some of the tasks I can complete throughout the morning. At around 8:30am I have a catch-up call with my team to discuss any new information we all need to be aware of and to lay out all the tasks that need doing for the day. My tasks vary from day to day depending upon what stage of the month we are at. Currently it is the financial month and year end so there are a lot of tasks to be completed and there is a lot of pressure for us to meet our deadlines which is why having these morning calls are so important.
When we spoke to Freddy, he told us that his favourite part of the day was lunchtime… How is lunchtime for you?
When it comes, I start the Nigella process of whipping up a delicious fancy home cooked lunch… (usually pasta or chicken with rice) and whilst enjoying my lunch I have a group call with James and Freddy to have a catch up on what we’ve been up to and how we are!
He also said that it was important to keep in touch with others.
Absolutely, it helps keep the morale up; although, as I write this I am on the side of being sad as instead of writing this I should be living it up in America after watching Wrestlemania with some friends! But, here I am…
We are very sorry to hear that but there is always next year!
Yes, we won’t miss out next year that’s for sure!! So once lunch is over, my afternoon consists of finishing any work I have not completed in the morning and there is another catch up call in the middle of the afternoon if need be with (my colleagues in Finance) Malcolm and Silja, to run through any issues we have come across in the morning or to just update each other on where we are on our to-do list.
It seems that your department keeps in regular contact.
We like to but we also have to, especially when it is quite busy like it is with the year end.
Have you noticed any other changes since you started working remotely?
It’s funny, the days seem to be going much quicker since working from home so I sometimes find the day has completely got away from me and I’m thinking, “wow, how is it 3 pm already?!”.
As the day is coming to an end, I wrap up what I’m working on and start making a list of anything that needs to be completed during the following day.
What about when you have finished work for the day?
I am currently working on a garden project with my mum. She has always wanted a vegetable patch in the back garden, so after work when the weather has been nice we have been working on getting this finished.
Laura Barton is a Finance Administrator for theICEway and enjoys perfecting a spreadsheet. We all sincerely hope that she gets to see Wrestlemania next year!