Working from Home – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

By Anika Shah 2 months ago
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It’s been nearly three months since we said goodbye to the office and began our working from home lives. We have been fortunate enough to be in an industry that is suited to flexible and remote working and as seamless as the transition has been, there are a few aspects that just aren’t the same for the team whilst working from home. 

I’ve asked the whole team to share their experience, what they miss the most about not being in the office, what they are enjoying about being at home and their top tips for getting the most out of working from home.

Javan, our Managing Director said:

“Overall working from home has been mixed. At times I’ve enjoyed the ability to focus on key tasks and I have certainly appreciated the time saved from the daily commute. That said, I’ve missed the team camaraderie in the office and while we’ve done a lot to replace that, I wouldn’t say it’s 100% the same. I have enjoyed the kids being around at lunchtimes and spending some time with them, but I’m not sure they’d say the same about my home schooling.”

I’d agree. I miss hanging out with the Digital Glue family during the day, whether it is at the ‘Hydration Station’, ‘Lunch Club’, or just talking across the office.

However, we’ve enjoyed being able to be with all four of the Bramhall’s at Friday drinks, and I’ve definitely picked up a few great one liners from Henry! 

Javan’s Top Tip

Routine is the key for me, so my tip would be to have a work from home routine. What time do you start? When do you take a break from your screen? The office rituals of starting a day etc. serve to keep people focussed, so this can help.

Claire, our Financial Director said:

“Mine is actually the same as Javan’s, but I’m often found at the breakfast bar trying to cram in a little extra work while the kids play (as you can see in the image), I clearly angled the photo well to avoid the washing up!

“Before this all happened I used to work from home quite a bit so I wasn’t expecting a huge change. It actually has been more different than I expected, juggling kids and conference calls has been hard, but when they are out it is really quiet.

“I miss the office most for the people. I always worked part time around the kids schooling so the office was one of a few opportunities to speak with adults. That water cooler chat has disappeared. I do enjoy being able to take the odd phone call and sit in my garden though.”

This photo has been angled perfectly. Surprised Claire isn’t surrounded by all of the snacks whilst being in the kitchen!

If only the bouncy castle was still up from last year’s summer party, that would have made for more exciting phone calls…

Claire’s Top Tip

A great tip I have on working from home is on commuting. Before you start work or after you finish, take a walk around the block. This gives you time to either get ready for the day ahead or de-stress after a hard day. This gives some separation from work and home. 

Greta, our Director of Communications said:

“I mostly miss having my own desk. But also I really miss talking nonsense with the D/G crew, ‘just one’ at the pub on a Friday turning into a bar crawl around Birmingham, and walking around the Custard Factory in the sun drinking an iced coffee from Kanteen.

“Whilst working from home I’m enjoying the ability to eat endless snacks without Neex turning to me like this:”

Credit: @HayleyJukes on TikTok
Classic game of Battleships being represented in this photo. ‘Just one’ turning into a bar crawl feels like forever ago, can’t wait for the first Friday back – who are we kidding this will be the first day back no matter what day it is.

I do miss turning my chair to see what exciting snack Gretz is opening up, not to eat, just out of sheer curiosity. If you open a crunchy snack what do you expect? 🤷‍♀️

Greta’s Top Tip

Good communication is more important than ever! Without the usual visibility you’d have in the office, letting people know when you’re available and booking in regular check-ins on projects is really helpful.

Tony, our Digital Marketing expert said:

The only thing that changed is the working environment, I quite miss our office chats and the occasional snacks that we always have lying around, oh and having Anika act like the snack police. We have replaced Pub Fridays with a virtual Friday get together so we can still keep in touch and share our thoughts. 

“I quite enjoy working from home because sometimes it gives me the focus I need to complete my tasks for the week without the busy office chatters (not that that’s a bad thing).  I’ve found the fridge has become my obsession, I always find myself searching for a snack or thinking about my next breakfast combination to amaze my coworkers with my peculiar choices.”

When Tony says peculiar snack choices, he means jam on eggs… 👀

Tony’s Top Tip

Communication is key, there are a lot of tools nowadays that allow you to communicate with others and keep the illusion of an office vibe, I always prefer video calls because of that face to face interaction. 

Drew, our Senior Account Executive said:

“I thought I would quite enjoy working from home for the most part as I am quite the introvert. However, this experience has shown me that I definitely need the balance, as I really am missing the buzz of the office… and Fazeley lunches obvs.” 

“Working from home has pushed me to think about things differently. I was never one for exercise but now I am home-based I find it easier to start the day with a workout! Lockdown has definitely given me the precious gift of time… and the ability to do a plank without passing out!” 

This photo is Instagram ready. I’m with Drew on Fazeley. Eastenders have Kathy’s, The Gilmore Girls have Luke’s Diner, The Apprentice have the Bridge Cafe, and we have Fazeley. I miss giving them a call for a cheeky bacon and hash brown sandwich for breakfast!

We have yet to see this plank and you know what they say, ‘seeing is believing’. 

Drew’s Top Tip

Instead of rolling out of bed at 8.55am, I would suggest using the time you would usually be commuting for good. Even if it’s just to sit with a cup of coffee and focus on mindfulness before the day begins. I find Headspace has a variety of meditations that have been great for my mental health over this period.

Nikki, our Public Relations Account Director said:

“I miss the camaraderie that we have in the DG office!  My desk buddy, Neex and I had a communal snack station between us and we just KNEW when it was snack/hash brown time. Now, I get no communal joy when I rip open a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar. All I get is the deafening silence of my own judgement as I tuck into my solitary snack!

“Question: Can you still eat your feelings if they develop whilst you are eating? 

“On another note, I can’t ignore the fact that I now enjoy a two-minute commute to work as opposed to 90 minutes each way.”

For those that don’t already have a communal snack station with their desk buddy, I highly recommend starting that up when you are back in the office – game changer. 💪  

Nikki’s Top Tip

Endeavour to get dressed for work everyday. With the exception of a few cold days when my Oodie (oversized blanket hoodie) made an appearance, I dressed as I would if I were to rock up at the DG office. It was the routine that helped me get into the right headspace. 

Also, be kind to yourself. These are unprecedented times, you will have good days and bad days, and that is okay. If you are not well, it is important to tell someone so that you can do what you need in order to recuperate. 

Corey, our Account Executive said:

“I miss a lot about the office. I miss the small talks in between working, the team lunches and trips to the pub, but most of all, I miss the Nespresso machine and the Guatemalan coffee pods – they hit differently.

“I like the fact I can switch off straight away, cook dinner, load up my Playstation and unwind by playing Warzone or Madden.”

The office Nespresso machine is basically a member of the team we go over and visit a few times a day to get our daily dose of Guata. We have a few different pods in the office, but Guatemala is by far the most elite. Not a sponsored post. ☕️  

Corey’s Top Tip

I think it’s important to have a walk every other day, either before work, on lunch, or after work to help relieve stress and worries. It’s also important to call colleagues to have that human contact.

Maryan, our Junior Content Producer said:

“Working from home has been a great experience for me. I’ve learnt quite a bit about my working style and what actions I need to take in order to keep myself motivated. I miss the coffee machine, but not the espresso. I also miss the humans there too. The iMac, I’ve downgraded big time. Rianna being my helpful second set of eyes, now I have to just believe in myself.

“I don’t miss waking up early and not having to worry about missing my bus. I can drink my cappuccino in peace and not chug it down like I’m in a coffee drinking contest. Working at home has allowed me to take things slow and enjoy the little things in life that I wouldn’t be able to in the office, which has done wonders for my mental health.

“I’ve had too many snacks. My teeth are ok though.”

We believe in you Maryan! Do you have enough Daim’s there buddy? 🧐 

Maryan’s Top Tip

Take it day by day, not one method works for everyone. 

Lukasz, our Website Developer said:

“Before I joined Digital Glue I was primarily a remote freelancer. I am used to working from home. It isn’t difficult to work from home, it’s actually sometimes better for me than in the office. The biggest drawback is lack of direct contact to colleagues and the motivation isn’t the same. However within time it changes as people get used to it. 

“Even though my travel is over an hour I enjoyed the morning walks, it gave me more energy before my work and felt refreshing. Unfortunately now I am just too lazy to get out of my bed early enough for a quick walk before my work starts.”

I’m with Lukasz on the commute and it will definitely take some getting used to when we do finally get to commute to the office!  

Lukasz’s Top Tip

If you have a laptop and its nice weather, work outside. It is a totally different experience. Constant fresh air, the sun and the birds chirping creates a perfect environment for a peaceful and enjoyable workflow. My developer’s cave doesn’t share any of those characteristics.

Rianna, our Designer and Animator said:

“I’ve adjusted to working from home now, it’s definitely good to see my family more but headphones are good for the days you need to escape them! I miss the banter with Maryan, the office snacks, the team and the beauty of Digbeth. I get a little longer in bed before the day starts and unlimited food. Stay positive and just do the best you can do. It’s a tough time for us all but use this time to create new fun memories, mine is interior decorating!”

The strolls around the Custard Factory and streets of Digbeth have definitely been missed by the team! Being at home and having unlimited food at such close proximity does have it perks though… 🤤  

Rianna’s Top Tip

It’s so easy to work over time when at home, but be sure to be strict with your time and plan your day like you would in the office. Make your morning coffee, put your music on, do some admin work and set out your daily tasks, take your lunch and although you are already at home and the end of the working day it’s still ‘home-time’, so shut it all off and start again tomorrow!

Gem, our Senior Account Manager said:

“The hardest part of being away from the team is missing out on the office chatter. We’re a fun bunch to be around, and there’s always something going on to make you laugh. Hearing Neex bid for Tortilla at every team lunch and tell me jokes across the desk is definitely something I’ll look forward to getting back to.

“The 1 minute commute to the spare room is definitely a bonus, along with being brought constant top-ups of tea by my other half!

“I started off without a desk or a chair, but helped perfect my setup with the help of local Digbeth business Digwood who make bespoke items. To help people in lockdown, they produced a run of desks especially for people working from home. The ‘Solidarity Bab’ poster is from Birmingham local business Punks and Chancers.” 

Agreed. We are a fun bunch turning any day into a ‘funday’. As much as I’ve tried to send my jokes over to Gem via Slack, the delivery just isn’t the same…

But what hurts the most, is ‘team lunch’, oh how I miss asking for Tortilla every week and for the rest of the office to shut me down instantly. 😫  

Gem’s Top Tip

Be kind to yourself. It’s easy, when you’re so apart from everyone else, to feel isolated and lonely. Try and maintain contact with people, both your colleagues and friends. Look after your mental health as much as possible – I’ve found using apps like Calm and Headspace very useful. 

And last but not least, my take on working from home: 

“The constant fear that someone at home may walk in on a client call is what makes calls even more thrilling. I miss the Nespresso machine and the laughter that echoes around the office after yet another one of my hilarious jokes. ‘Haha’ on Slack doesn’t have the same feel. I thoroughly enjoy the lie-ins, and by cutting out the ten minute commute to the office I manage to actually be early for work…” 

My Top Tip

Keep your morning routine similar to when you would be getting ready to go into the office. That way you’re not tempted to lounge around but instead you’ll be in the mindset to begin your day’s work.

Safe to say, we can’t wait to get back into the office and be reunited with one another.

Whilst we are at home, we are still all systems go and so if there is anything we can help you with from Digital Marketing, Social Media and Websites to PR and Branding, you can get in touch with us here

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