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May 10, 2020
Verity Roach

It’s Week 2 of lockdown and I’m sat with a cup of tea listening to four of our Juno friends discussing ‘How to work effectively from home’.

It’s episode one of our Round the Table, and (after the inevitable technology glitches) we’re thrilled to see it kick off. Our partner Lucy Hackshaw, founder and CEO of Flux, is hosting episode one and it couldn’t be in better hands.

Around the (virtual) table we have Katy Maloney, Head of Business and Managing Partner at Wavemaker, Gabi Macra, Co-Founder of Openmind Wellbeing and Arti Kashyap-Aynsley, Wellbeing Leader at Deloitte. With this line up, it’s safe to say we’re in for a treat. Kicking off the session, Lucy invites the table to share their biggest tips for a motivated day. From Katy’s ‘starting the day with a personal task,’ to Arti’s ‘moment for herself’ it’s clear that everyone has their own way of ticking. Gabi discusses her ways of working; ‘identifying tasks which excite and energise me vs the more mundane jobs is very important for me. I listen to my body throughout the day and tackle the list based on how I’m feeling.’ As a to-do list maniac, I found this tip extremely helpful - not forcing your mind to do that next action, instead listening and reacting to what you need.

We moved onto distractions, with Lucy admitting, ‘when I’m trying to work I’m distracted by other things around me, but when I’m trying to have personal time I’m distracted by the sight of my laptop.’ Working from home is bringing huge challenges to us all, though - ironically - the table identified the most common distraction, ‘everyone is trying to prove to one and other that they are working, so the number of video calls is out of the roof.’ So extreme that Katy’s team have selected afternoons where video calls are banned. This led the discussion onto productivity, with Gabi raising a worrying thought, ‘I’m more concerned about burnout than of productivity. It’s so important to appreciate that someone might not be okay, and that it isn’t all about work work work, they may need a break.

Gabi’s point resonated with all of us; whilst working from home brings the perks of wearing your pj all day, it blurs the lines between weekdays and weekends, and threatens all our wellbeing. With this in mind, we chatted about team morale; ‘the Manual of Me is a really useful tool to help understand people’s different situations and how they thrive.’ Arti discussed, ‘maybe you’re a parent who needs to be flexible with working, whatever the situation, it’s so important to understand how each person thrives.

Katy went on to describe her approach to keeping team morale high, ‘empathy is key - understanding what each person is going through and how they need to work. We are keeping a positive and motivated attitude with one and other, we have video calls solely to play games, sit back, drink tea and share funny stories.’ As we came to the end of episode, the table shared their tips to keep a strong and supported wellbeing. Exercise, (virtual) meet ups, moments of joy and gratitude - all high on the list, with Lucy aptly concluding that ‘we’re embodied in a society of anxiety right now, which does something to the body, so prioritising wellbeing is hugely important to us all.’  

It was fantastic to hear all the different ways our table’s companies are adapting to support their employees and user base. Wavemaker recently launched a neighbour initiative, Openmind Wellbeing are offering free weekly classes and Deloitte’s wellbeing programme rolled out online. All clear indications that the mental health and wellbeing of our employees is priority during this turbulent time.

Well that’s episode one! 4 great attendees sharing different insights, tips and tricks, some of which I’m certainly taking away with me.

Come back next week when the fantastic Vicky Silverton hosts episode 2, talking all about ‘your working environment’.