What I have learned while working remotely – in a pandemic

Written by Charline Corsellis-Hannus

Working remotely/working remotely in a pandemic are two very different things.

I think it’s super important to have personal awareness and to maintain a positive attitude. Once you have the right mindset, great work will flow. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will definitely be easier.

From the outset, it’s really important to note here that I am writing this from my personal situation which is living at home with my partner and my puppy. It’s so important to be mindful of people with different situations. I don’t know what it’s like to live at home with two kids, or to be the main carer for someone. But, I hope that whatever your situation, you can take something from the learnings I’m going to share.

Embrace the power of visualisation 👀

Stay positive, think good thoughts, have hope and choose to look at the bright side of things (there’s still lots of good in the world!). I try and maintain a constant 8+ on a scale out of 10, in terms of the energy I bring for myself and to others to support and inspire them.

I try and maintain a constant 8+ on a scale out of 10, in terms of the energy I bring for myself and to others to support and inspire them.

Don’t fret 💭

Worrying is not gonna change anything. I find that having a day to day approach really helps. Live in the moment and try to find one thing to be grateful for every morning. Recently, I have started to take more notice of the birds singing when I take my dog out in the morning. It’s the little things that are important.

Manage your own expectations ⚖️

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t learn a new skill and don’t put huge amounts of pressure on yourself to become better at something. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, after all. Just keep doing some of the stuff you like doing, binge watching Netflix included.

Just keep doing some of the stuff you like doing, binge watching Netflix included.

Exercise 🤸‍♀️

Whether it’s one walk a day, or an online class. Move! You will feel so much better after exercising. We compiled lots of great online resources with the People Team – hit me up if you need some inspiration!

Life at INSHUR has changed a lot in the last month. Building a thriving culture is a massive priority for us, so we’ve remained focused on keeping that alive even when we’re apart. Here are some top tips from us.

Over communicate! 📣

It’s really important to maintain strong relationships across all channels. As a People team we’ve been creating guidelines and resources to make sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to meeting and communication etiquette when working remotely.

Words on a page can often lose their meaning and intention, so we encourage people to deliver some messages on camera rather than writing them on Slack. It’s also important to always assume a message comes from a good place – try not to read into it too much if someone’s message is a bit blunt. They’re probably just busy.

It’s also important to always assume a message comes from a good place – try not to read into it too much if someone’s message is a bit blunt. They’re probably just busy.

Don’t keep it strictly business 🍩

Of equal importance is the non-work chat. Casual conversations over cups of tea in the morning are an underrated part of office life that feel like a distant memory now. We’ve been encouraging everyone to connect socially and the Donut Slack integration has been brilliant for this – it randomly matches three or more team members for a half an hour Zoom call of strictly non-work chat.

Disconnect, take time off 🛋️

Have you felt tired lately? I felt so exhausted after the Easter break, I really didn’t want to go back to work. You don’t have to book a whole week off, but booking a day or half-a-day a week is probably a good idea. We’re encouraging everyone to take time off during this remote period. We may not be able to jet off on an exotic holiday, but spending the day on the sofa with a good book or having fun with the kids can be just as healing.

We may not be able to jet off on an exotic holiday, but spending the day on the sofa with a good book or having fun with the kids can be just as healing.

It will probably still feel strange and you may not be there yet, but I’m confident we will look back and cherish some memories from these extraordinaries moments in time.

Lastly, as positive as I sound, I want to remind everyone that it’s okay not to be okay. We all have our up and down days. I find the Every Mind Matters website has some brilliant resources for protecting mental health during these times.

You can learn a lot from yourself and improve your resilience everyday. 💪

Thanks for reading!