We asked some of our employees to share their experiences of what working from home has been like for them during the pandemic. Today we hear from Sam Pickrell who is our Head of Development.
My husband and I suddenly face the reality of having to entertain our energetic toddler, Lottie, and fulfil our roles at work. Much of my role involves conversations and collaboration, however, a toddler is not interested in whether you’re in a meeting about performance benchmarking or resolving a customer issue. If she decides Pink Bunny needs his nappy put on, that’s a ‘priority 1’ issue and she’s vocal about expressing it!
Fortunately, Access have been amazing. Discussions between leaders and teams are centred on achieving value rather than clocking on or off at particular times; about flexibility and an approach that works for us as well as the business. Access recognises that some of us might be finding it hard if we live alone, our partner is a key worker or we have multiple children.
In the Product Development department, we are used to remote working: we have all the tooling, technology, processes and behaviours that support this, so the real business impact was minimal for us. Instead, we’ve focussed on how we can support each other through these times with virtual tea-breaks, after-work ‘taverns’ to share a beer, a quiz and a leaving do where we played online games!
Whilst balancing work and childcare works most of the time, it can be awkward. Lottie joined me on a video call sans nappy having made a bid for freedom mid change; I had to terminate a phone call because she was enthusiastically shouting ‘Hiya’ at my poor colleague; loudly announced a poo (Lottie’s) whilst Mark was on the phone to a colleague; and our poor cat has taken the brunt of her exuberance and been ‘cuddled’ to within an inch of his life.
The way we’re working is not ideal and juggling family and work like this is honestly tiring but at a time when many families are suffering, we’re fortunate to be able to balance all the things important to us. Working for a company like Access whilst going through this has made all the difference for me.