We’re now four months into lockdown and how time has flown! What was once unthinkable – to imagine a large chunk of the country’s workforce working completely from home – has now become the norm and it’s hard to imagine when we’ll return to our former office-based lives.
This week, we continue our #WFH Diaries, gaining a sneak peek into Danielle Bamra’s approach to working from home. Danielle is a Client Account Manager in our Client Services team and lives at home with her husband, Raj, and their Poochon, Rusty.
Hi Danielle! What’s your current working routine?
Normally, once I’m up and ready, I meet with the Client Services team. We chat about how everyone is, what exercise we’ve been up to and how we’re all feeling, then I dig into my emails. My role in Client Services changes day to day; sometimes I’m a prepping for a SRM (service review meeting), chasing admin from a SRM and other days I’m on back-to-back calls. However, no matter what the day holds, a Client Services team call is mandatory, so it’s nice to see each other every day and to check in. I’ve also been trying to do that with other people from the wider Retail Assist team to see more people. To make sure I move about, I make myself take coffee breaks and, when the weather’s nice, go outside for lunch.
In terms of the way you work, what do you think the “new normal” will look like?
I think we’ll get a mixture: lockdown has proved that we can work from home. However, whilst even before lockdown I would occasionally work from home, for me, it isn’t great – I miss the interaction of the office and it’s great to have that office buzz. I do think it’ll make working from home more accessible for people and I think people’s perception of working from home has changed since lockdown.
How do you manage the balance between work and home life? Have there been any challenges?
I try to separate work from normal life. I’ve set up an office area rather than work from the sofa, for example. Also, I switch working locations with my husband, Raj – sometimes he’ll go upstairs, I’ll go upstairs then we’ll switch. To be honest, I think one of the big challenges is working at home with your partner! Raj and I try not to see each other in the day, “go to work” and then get back together in the evenings, otherwise being around each other all the time can be overwhelming. I also try to talk to my team regularly and speak to other people, too. I’m becoming a bit more forgetful because every day is so similar and seems to turn into one, so I’m using a “to do” list, which is really helpful.
What’s been a positive thing about life in lockdown?
It’s been great to reconnect with friends again. I’ve made more time than I would have made before to speak to friends, such as my uni friends, and we’ve had a few Zoom chats. There are also some people I haven’t spoken to in years but we’re now actively making the effort to put the time in. There’s no excuse now! I mean, if you can’t do it now you never will. I’ve actually found that my evenings are really busy. We’re all so lucky to have technology!
How do you unwind?
Our Poochon, Rusty, is 14 months old and we take him for a long walk or a bike ride every day, especially when the weather is nice. I’m also reading quite a lot and trying to do a jigsaw. I’ve got more time like for skincare too, so I’ve done a few pamper nights and give myself more time to do that. To be honest, there’s been nothing overly exciting!
What are your top 3 lockdown essential non-essentials?
- Firstly, iced coffee! It’s how I’ve started every day during lockdown.
- Zoom has been essential to keep up with my family. We’re all really close, so this has been a lifesaver.
- It might sound silly, but loungewear – I am definitely not usually a loungewear person and I’ve never really worn joggers or leggings before. But the thought of wearing jeans all day every day is unbearable! It’s so not me but I cannot wait for the day when I can put a dress on and feel like myself again.
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