Staying at home during the current lockdown is a new and unexpected situation for most people and nobody can predict for how long these circumstances will last. The FieldworkHub team sat down and brainstormed (remotely of course!) how to keep working efficiently and remain motivated while the lockdown is in place. Here is the list of recommendations that we came up with. Three recommendations are work-related and three relate to life outside work. We hope that you may find them useful as well.
1. Continue running weekly meetings even if you’re not in the office anymore – hold them remotely and turn your webcam on
The FieldworkHub team catches up at the start of each week to run through short-term tasks and workloads, and discuss our current and upcoming projects including online focus groups, interviews and surveys. We always turn our webcams on for these meetings so we don’t miss out on the social connection. Once we have finished talking business, we also make sure everyone is feeling well and had a good weekend – often somebody in our team has discovered a new recipe or a new activity which they can’t wait to share.
2. Keep socialising with your colleagues – hold a remote social event
Sadly, after-work drinks and other face-to-face social events are off the agenda for now but you can be creative! There are many other options to have fun and maintain a team spirit. FieldworkHub staff are training together for 30 minutes twice a week. We take turns to be the instructor and include a variety of exercises. Over the last two weeks we have tried cardio workouts, bum and ab exercises and yoga.
3. Consider alternatives to emailing or texting – pick up the phone and call your colleagues or clients
A phone call is much more personal than an email and reduces the misunderstandings which can easily occur when everyone is working in a different location. A two-way conversation can also be faster and more fluid when it takes place over the phone and hearing people’s voices gives you a better indication of how they are feeling and creates a deeper social connection. At FieldworkHub, we try to make a habit of calling each other, our clients and our partners when we have questions or need feedback, and everyone seems to welcome this more personal approach.
4. Rather than sleeping for an extra hour when you’re not commuting to work anymore, create a new routine
Keeping a routine in our lives helps us to be more efficient and prioritise important tasks. If your normal routine involved getting up at 7am, taking a shower, having breakfast and commuting to work around 8am to read the first emails at 9am, then your new routine could still involve getting up at 7am, but using the extra hour to meditate or learn a new skill. The same applies for evening activities: use the time you save on commuting to try the recipe for a new cake which has lying around, play with your kids, or start reading one of the untouched books on your shelf. Also try to keep a distinction between the activities that you do on weekdays and those that you do at weekends to avoid them blurring into one.
5. During lockdown it’s important to stay active – exercise is good for your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health
The Government is encouraging everyone to go out once a day for one form of exercise and doctors recommend going outside to benefit our health. If you have a garden or balcony, you can probably get fresh air without coming close to other people but even if you don’t, going for a quick run or bike ride on a quiet route should be safe. Cycling in London is actually better than at any point in our lifetimes since there is far less motor traffic on the roads and the air is much cleaner. Even if the weather forces you to stay indoors, YouTube and other websites/apps will definitely be able to inspire you with a few exercises which will keep you fit. Most of the options are free, so cost is no excuse – get moving!
6. Our tips on what to read, watch and do
The team at FieldworkHub is currently reading and recommending the following books: “Surrounded By Idiots” by Thomas Erikson, “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari, “American Spy” by Lauren Wilkinson, and “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. Relax in the evenings with the best movies and TV shows. Over 50% of the UK population are subscribed to at least one streaming service such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus or Now TV and these offer a great variety of entertaining for young and old. The FieldworkHub team recommends the following films that you shouldn’t miss out on: The Green Book, Hidden Figures, The Upside, and Three Identical Strangers. Finally, when was the last time you did a jigsaw puzzle? Or painted a picture? Do you have an unfinished DIY project? Or does your wardrobe needs a little clear out? Now is the perfect time for all those little jobs that you somehow never got round to doing before. Whatever you do, please stay safe and healthy!
Anna and the FieldworkHub team.
FieldworkHub is still offering research services despite the challenges that we are all facing as a result of coronavirus lockdowns in many countries. All of our current projects are running via remote methodologies and we are always happy to offer advice on the range of solutions available to support online focus groups, remote depth interviews and online surveys.