Since March, more and more people in Limerick have had to adjust to working from home.
Some people are finding it really enjoyable and helpful, regarding other aspects of their lives.
Katie Casey, an Operations Analyst at an insurance company said: “I save 2 hours a day in commuting so I’m getting lots of time back not to mention that chores that would usually take up my weekend can now be done on my lunch break. It definitely strikes the work life balance that has been so frequently spoken of in recent years.”
Casey added: “Before, by the time I reached the office I felt like I was in the middle of my day, now I get to sleep for a longer period and am far more energetic when starting work.”
Cutting down on commuting time is very beneficial to some employees and allows them to feel more engaged with their job.
Jane Mitchell, CEO of Integrum, said that employers need to engage more with their employees while they are working from home.
“It’s a tough time to connect with and engage people. We know that if people aren’t actively engaged in work, then their productivity certainly takes a dip,” said Mitchell.
Employers seem to have different approaches on how they engage with their employees across Limerick. Many have constant contact or weekly meetings, but others feel unsupported.
An anonymous member of the Civil Service said: “I’ve received about two emails from my manager since lockdown started. I feel like I’m working for my own company.”
“Employees need many more connection points online, than they would have had in person, in order for people to remain in the loop of what’s going on at work,” they added.
People living in large or noisy households are finding it hard to focus and be productive whilst working from home.
“It’s a struggle to spend the entire day online, stay on top of everything and be motivated while you can hear the kids playing in the room next door,” said another source who works for an accountancy firm.
Not having a designated working space also effects people’s ability to separate their work life from their personal life.
Casey said: “The most challenging thing has been establishing my workspace and separating it from my personal life. I work in my bedroom so at the beginning it was difficult to do that. However, getting a proper desk and chair certainly helped.”
Mitchell shared some of her top tips for how employees can work smartly from home:
- Have a steadfast routine.
- Get up first in the house to get a head start in the mornings. This will give you that feeling of control over your day.
- Plan a timetable that isn’t overly ambitious. Be sure to make time for breaks.
- Set achievable expectations for the day.
- Eat well and get some fresh air during the day.
- Have a shut off time and stick to it.
Overall, the people of Limerick have mixed review of what it’s like to work from home. They seem to be trying to make the most of this tough time.