Imagine a scenario of home working with no laptop, no mobile phone, no internet and only a landline to the company along with a notepad and pen.
"This is exactly how I started the recruitment business back in 1979!" - Shirley Parsons.
Our CV database consisted of an A3 pad with a list of names and skills sets on it (imagine the GDPR implications!). Even in those days, magazine adverts and speaking to people were paramount.
Although in today’s world we are lucky to have some fantastic technology to support us, there are lots of similarities in terms of the challenges people face – emotionally, practically and professionally - and these have struck me many times over the last week.
Here’s how I found it useful to cope with the low points, all of which are relevant in today’s world:
Taking a walk
into the village where we lived to post CVs and pay any cheques into the bank - and walk back a different way. Obviously posting CVs and paying in cheques isn’t relevant today but getting out for fresh air and taking the opportunity to explore where you live is so important for mental and physical health – remember to practise social distancing and follow the latest government advice
Gardening at lunchtime and after work
– again, fresh air is an amazing reviver and gardening is very therapeutic, particularly if you grow fruit and veg. Everyone now has a great opportunity to start a new hobby! You don’t need a qualification in horticulture to weed a flower bed, plant a pretty flower basket or grow a few tomato plants in a grow bag! Of course, not everyone has a garden – in which case, why not have a go at creating your very own windowsill herb garden? The kids can help with planting too!
Being prepared with a list of clients to contact regularly
– staying on top of your networking during this time is critical. Whilst business transactions may drop, things will ramp up again in the future. It’s vital to be at the front of everyone’s minds.
Approaching it like exam revision
– set yourself small rewards for achieving certain tasks. Whether it’s a chocolate biscuit or something bigger, keep yourself motivated!
Keep up to date with the news, TV etc (but don’t lose yourself in it). One of our largest contracts came from a short report on the News at 10 about an up and coming project. The project lasted five years and we became the main supplier. Look for opportunities amongst the chaos!
Buying an answerphone
- which meant I could go for a walk! Clearly, the days of answerphone machines are in the past, but to get a real break and some headspace, consider leaving your mobile at home when you do venture outside – we can’t always be switched on.
Make sure that you get dressed in work attire
at the start of the working day so that you feel like it’s a normal day. If you’re lounging around in a tracksuit your mind may not be focused on work
Clearly, there are many ways in which we will need to adapt in these unchartered times, and lots of ideas about how we should approach our work, but it’s the small things that can make a real difference to keeping well - mentally and physically - whilst working remotely, and these, in turn, will help us to optimise our effectiveness and each play our part in ensuring our businesses can ride the wave as smoothly as possible.