‘Workin’ 9 to 5 (from home)’
Most of the world is working from home right now; something that seemed an unlikely reality just weeks ago. Despite a handful of the FCCE crew already being accustomed to this way of working – albeit on a temporary basis – not going into the office at all is still a strange reality and one that the rest of the team have had to adapt to quickly. Nevertheless, the team are all doing very well with this ‘new normal’ and we thought we’d share what home working looks like through the eyes of one of our superheroes, Kate!
My alarm still rings every morning, the dogs still bark to be let out and have their breakfast and my two children sleepily stumble out of bed – all before 7:30am. I’m working earlier than normal since I no longer have to commute, so I’m typically sat at my desk (the kitchen table) by 8am with a giant mug of tea and a bowl of porridge to start my day. There are the usual e-mails to answer and a to-do list to compile; nothing new here; but sitting alone with no-one to chat to about their previous evening (aside from my family!) is a bit unusual. The FCCE family are Skyping to stay in touch (luckily we were already good at this), so I say hi to anyone I can see online, check in with them to see how they are doing and discuss anything that I know will come up during that day. Some of the team have children at home and others don’t, so work hours are a bit more sporadic than normal. Working in accounts, my job largely remains the same; granted there are less invoices going out at present, but plenty of administration to do! I’m still making calls to venues and suppliers although e-mail seems to be an easier medium at the moment, what with most venues closed and people harder to reach at the end of the phone. Everyone I speak to though is caring, friendly and understanding and there is a real camaraderie amongst the events industry at present; one I hope that will remain for many years after this crisis is over. We are all in this together and we all need each other. I try to help our suppliers as much as they are trying to help me and that makes being in work a really lovely and supportive place to be right now.
At 11am every day we have a ‘huddle’ via Zoom, checking in with each other and going through any new or ongoing issues and upcoming plans; this really helps to feel ‘as one team’ – certainly from my perspective. I look forward to the daily huddle as ‘seeing’ the rest of the team helps me to feel connected and ready to tackle the rest of the day. The team have been sharing tips and ideas about how best to navigate home working long-term and things I have taken on board so far include scheduling proper breaks and lunch away from my desk, getting lots of fresh air throughout the day, setting up a workspace that has everything at my fingertips, getting fully showered and dressed to ensure you’re in the right headspace, creating daily to-do lists to keep you focused and going for a walk after work to mimic the home-time commute and wind down once the day is done. These suggestions and many more have been pouring in from colleagues, clients and suppliers after just two weeks and this new normal is settling in quite nicely! I have my children at home and so far they have been brilliant at getting on with the task we set them (my husband has been furloughed so he can take on the majority of the ‘schooling’ at present), so stress levels are pretty low in our house at the moment in that regard!
As my working day comes to an end, I know I have a lovely walk with my dogs to look forward to – to them, this is the best time of their lives with us home all of the time and a regular walking slot! There are definitely pro’s and cons to working from home but I’m finding more and more that the cons are just problems to be solved. I do look forward to getting back into an office with the rest of the team sometime in the not-too-distant future, but for now I know my colleagues and I are all pulling together to make this scenario work and so far I think we are working together even better and more creatively than ever before!
The FCCE team will come out of this crisis stronger than ever and we would like to let our clients and suppliers know that in the interim we are here for anything you might need – even if it’s just a chat in the comfort of our own homes!