Working from home is new to me but I feel privileged to be able to do so. I know for many people out there, working from home is just not an option. I am grateful to the University of Strathclyde for being in the position to allow such working arrangements. So for now, I am not getting the bus into work, I don’t have the amazing views that we have from our office and I am not seeing as many people day-to-day as I usually would.
Normally, I work in a (fairly noisy) office with only five other people. We get on well and there are always conversations going on. It is a friendly office and I enjoy working there. We all have a little quirk that we can all laugh at. One team member (who shall remain nameless) has a tendency to talk quietly, or mutter, and is always having to repeat himself. At other times, he amuses us when he finds it difficult to tell a funny story without laughing! Another team member often repeats what someone else has just said, someone else talks to themselves as they work, another likes to randomly burst into song.
My quirk I hear you ask? I’m often accused of asking a question out loud without first saying the name of the person I’m asking! I often ask a question, only to be met with silence because no one is listening to me, or my colleagues laugh and ask “who are you talking to?” Working from my kitchen means that I am not doing this anymore! If I have a question to ask, I have to really think about what I am doing. Who do I need to ask? How will I ask it?
Fortunately for us, we are all very well connected electronically. We have diverted our office phones to our mobiles, have a team WhatsApp group, emails, Zoom, Skype for Business, you name it, we have it! Any question that I have can still be answered, but now instead of blurting it out, I have to decide how to ask it. Quickest thing seems to be a WhatsApp message to the group, but I actually prefer using Zoom, like we have been using to hold our Daily Stand Up (Comm Cell) meetings. It feels more like being in the office, even though it is a little strange at the moment to see everyone in their own homes (or with the Northern Lights or a sunny beach behind them). We are fortunate that we have the ability to be so connected, given that we are currently so far apart.
So for the time being, my commute is walking downstairs, my view is of my garden (or the kitchen, depending on where I sit), and my office space is the dining table. That’s ok though, as we have managed to arrange working together as a team from the comfort (and safety) from our own homes.
Now that we are sorted for working from home, the next step for us is to figure out how we can host workshops and sessions with larger groups outside our team. We will keep you posted on how we do this. In the meantime, you can find out how my other colleagues are managing this change in circumstance.