With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, and the majority of the UK currently working from home whilst following the Government’s advice on non-essential travel, it’s impossible to think of a company or a person who will not have been affected by this pandemic. The flexible workspace industry and the SME’s it houses is certainly no exception.
As I write this, from my makeshift home office (which also moonlights as my dining room table), some of the team here at Boutique are now into our third week of working from home. Whilst we are supporting our clients and colleagues as much as we possibly can, I think it is so important that we are still taking the time look after ourselves. The core of Boutique has always been its people, we’re an incredibly close and supportive team and thanks to modern technology and social media it’s easy for us to keep in touch with one another.
However, as thankful as I am that apps like Zoom, Facetime and Houseparty mean I can still have a catch up with the Inbound Sales girls over breakfast, or partake in Friday afternoon drinks with our Sales team, I’m beginning to struggle with ways of filling my evenings and weekends (there is only so much Netflix anyone can watch!). With at least another two weeks of isolation ahead of us, I turned to the people that inspire me the most, for tips on how to survive the situation we have all unwittingly found ourselves in. As expected, they did not disappoint.
With some tips being perhaps more useful than others, here is how some of Team Boutique are taking back control whilst staying safe and protecting those around us.
Senior Sales Account Manager, Mark Wakefield dug out the DIY list and when he told me he’d been watching paint dry I didn’t expect him to mean it quite so literally! He said “I thought I should probably spend some time doing some of those jobs I keep putting off and have so far repainted all of the doors in my house. It wasn’t until I got pins and needles in my foot that I realised I’d been staring at my freshly painted wardrobe door for 20 minutes!”
Regional Operations Manager (and resident Mary Berry), Jodie Lynch has been investing more time into one of her great passions…baking. “I love baking, and with some foods being difficult to get, being conscious of food waste and limiting my trips to the supermarket, it’s given me a great opportunity to try out some new recipes. Doorstep cookie drop offs for my sister who works for the NHS have gone down very well and it’s great to be able to make people smile with sweet treats during these difficult times.”
After noticing on some recent Zoom calls that our MD David Hall was sporting some new facial hair I asked him the thought process behind it. He claims that it’s because he’s ‘just not bothered shaving yet’ especially as he can’t go anywhere, but personally I think he’s taking self isolation as an opportunity to try out a new look. Only time will tell whether or not the beard will be sticking around.
NB – I’ve had to agree to become official Boutique Tea Maker in order to use this photo, and it will be worth every cup!
Inbound Sales Executive, Sophie Ball is trying to keep active by going for a daily run and following some online exercise classes. “I’ve had to swap the gym for my living room and have been trying a different online class each day to keep things fresh. Now that Spring has finally arrived I’m trying to be outside as much as I can so I’m going for a daily run and trying some HIIT workouts in my garden.”
Commercial Manager, Dan Mcleod has taken a less energetic route and has gotten stuck into a jigsaw puzzle. “I thought it would be a good, relaxing way of keeping my mind active for a couple of evenings. As it turns out, puzzles are stressful! One week in, I’m still a long way from completion, and the whole thing has nearly gone out the window several times.”
Regional Operations Manager, Karen Williams is keeping busy by taking long walks with her incredible furry friends Paloma and Obie. “When the sun is shining there’s no better place to live than on the coast. Having the dogs forces me to get outside every day and I’m so lucky I have all this outside space for them to run around in.”
Like much of the nation right now, Regional Sales Manager Adam has become Mr Neroni the school teacher, helping to home school 3 of his 4 beautiful girls (baby Belle gets to sit this one out!). “I feel like I’ve gone back to school myself and am learning new things every day. Keeping a routine has been really helpful for us in the Neroni household and the girls have blown me away with how well they’re adapting to this new temporary normal. I think we could all learn something from our children right now!”
So to sum up, the advice from Boutique is to keep active, try to stick to a routine and find tasks to keep your brain active. Try something completely new or fall back in love with a hobby you now have more time for.
With all this in mind I think my task for this evening will be to spring clean my wardrobe ready for the incredible summer we will hopefully all be able to spend with each other.
Stay safe and keep talking to each other whilst working from home during this pandemic – we will get through this!
Kayley Hough – Inbound Sales Manager & Author
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