Probably one of the busiest members of the Ryan's team and since lockdown most unrecognisable! Claims manager Nathan Harvey shares his working from home story...
Where is your new office?
Home office (formerly our box room).
What are your tips for staying motivated and on top of work during lockdown?
Finding a daily and weekly routine was really important, it helps keep discipline when being at home. I tend to stay in the office for most of the day and come down for a few coffees and lunch at the same time each day.
I have set myself targets for what I think I should be able to achieve by the end of each week to try to stay motivated and match the productivity I had in the office, which has worked well.
I also think it is important to pick up the phone as much as possible to colleagues, customers and insurers, this can be really helpful, not only does it often lead to faster results but it allows me to speak to people and empathise with their own situations in these strange times.
What has been the biggest challenge since working from home?
I think the initial change was the biggest challenge. This was because everything happened more or less at once, we went from the normal office environment to being at home and in lockdown, so our work, leisure and social lives all changed at once. It made it really difficult to adapt to the new way of working. Colleagues were in the same boat and so were many of our customers, partners and insurers, this helped somewhat but also reinforced how weird the situation was.
At the same time there was the distraction of worrying about family and friends, shopping for the essentials in the early weeks and trying to keep to the lockdown rules. I think it took three weeks or so to truly adapt to the new normal. In some ways I was lucky that the first couple of weeks of lockdown were so busy, that I had to focus on work and get my head down.
Have any positives come out of working in lockdown?
It has been nice not having to drive through Ipswich everyday, the saving in time has allowed me more time to exercise and relax but also start work earlier. I have also done loads in the house and the garden. My girlfriend and I have adapted two previously little used rooms, our box room is now my office and the conservatory is now hers. The weather during lockdown has also been great and has allowed me to BBQ all the time, even at lunchtime! Seeing how long my hair can get in 3 months has been interesting too!
What do you miss most about the office/colleagues?
I miss the cooperation in the office, the sense that we are all working together and pushing and pulling in the same direction. While we are all still working together, it can be harder to get a sense of it when you do not hear people talking and sharing what they are working on. I also miss catching up with people at lunchtime and during the day.
How are you utilising your permitted daily exercise?
When we could only do one thing, I would start the day with a run. This got me out of the house and put me in the right mood to sit down and work. When the limit on exercise ended, I was able to run in the morning and go for walks after work with my girlfriend which has been great, we have found parts of Ipswich and Suffolk that we never knew were there.