It’s been almost five months since businesses had to close their offices and set their staff up to work remotely. We spoke to some ActionPointers to find out how they are finding the new normal and what benefits and challenges there are to working from home.
Eoin O’Dwyer – Business Analyst
“I have two young kids, a six month- old and a two year- old. I’m getting to spend so much more time with them than I would have previously. I also get to have breakfast, lunch and dinner with my family every day. Though my better half says the food bill has increased drastically as a result of feeding me! My commute is anywhere between one hour to one hour and 20 mins each way. I’m saving two and a half hours every day which is brilliant. It affords me and my partner so much more time for home life and our own hobbies, whether it’s getting to the gym in the morning or straight after work. Overall, we’re just not as “busy” and don’t think we ever want to be again.
I’ve found Microsoft Teams to have been a great tool while working remotely. We use it to catch up as a team over a coffee most days. All my meetings and client engagements are over Teams too. I work with companies in Ireland and in the US, we use Teams for all our collaborating. Although remote working has many benefits, you simply can’t beat meeting up with your colleagues and clients in person. On top of that, you can’t really bump into someone when working remotely – those colleagues who you don’t work with on projects day in, day out, but enjoy chatting about the match from the weekend within the office canteen.”
Suzanne Sheridan – Sales Manager
“The flexibility in working from home has been great. However, with three kids and my husband working from home too, it was a challenging time at the beginning. I worked in the mornings and evenings for the first eight or nine weeks of lockdown. If the flexibility wasn’t there, one of us would have needed to give up work during this time. My commute is a 20-minute drive usually. Funnily enough, I do miss it sometimes as it was be time spent winding down from work on the way home, before I headed into parent mode at home! In terms of resources that I’ve found essential since working from home, I’m for Teams all the way. Without it I’m not sure how “remote working” would have worked. Also, having brought home a few extra monitors etc helped with setting up the office feel at home. As my role requires a lot of client facing time to help close deals, this is has become a challenge now in current climate. I miss the social aspect with colleagues too.”
Paul O’Hare – Project Manager IT Services
“From a work point of view, I’m definitely more focused on completing individual tasks since working from home. If I need to get something done without distraction then I can lock myself into a room and give it 100% of my attention. My days are more structured because you need to book time to talk to someone as the Team calendars can fill up fast. From a personal point of view, I’m finding that I have a lot more time with my family and cook dinners, as it’s not too late when I’m getting home to start a dinner and can interact more with the kids. I don’t have a major commute from home to the office (10 mins without traffic or 30/40 mins with traffic) but I’m delighted to be saving time that could be spent stuck in traffic leaving the University campus each evening. Teams would be the “go to” app for remote working, you can easily see whose available and if and when needed to get in touch with someone. In saying that, I really do miss the craic around the office with the team and look forward to when we will be able to go back in.”
At ActionPoint, we set out to discover how the Irish workforce was adapting to working from home. Check out the findings from our survey of over 80 companies in the Covid-19 Remote Working Report here.