5 insanely practical work from home tips from our 100% remote ICONites

May 8, 2020 9:34 am

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Last month, we were forced to slow down, bond with family, cook more and socialise virtually.

Ambra, ICON Head of Product Delivery

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, quarantine is one of the most effective strategies of ‘flattening the curve’.

Therefore, we are social distancing, we are washing our hands, and we are all working from  home. To be frank, working remotely has a lot of advantages, but it is far from  perfect.

But what can people do, to move forward in these strange times?

This week, we asked Ambra (ICON, Head of Product delivery) and Kevin (ICON, Product Owner) to share some of  their best strategies for staying sane and productive during the lockdown.

1. How do you (try to) work from home with kids/family around?

A: Working from home means continuously juggling between work and personal tasks. This has a huge impact on our ability to stay focused. However, it definitely serves as a learning opportunity to improve our concentration skills,  and find effective ways to manage and prioritise our tasks.

2. How do you handle being away from your loved ones during the pandemic lockdown?

A: My family lives away in my home country and it has now been 5 months since I’ve last seen my relatives. Of course, I miss them dearly, but we video-chat every evening and I dream of the moment when I’ll be able to hug them again.

K: For me it is not easy either, but I know that many are struggling during these difficult times,  especially our elderly. I think, regular calls can improve morale on both sides, so it is important to remember that they are only 1 phone call away.

3. Have you encountered any funny experiences while working from home?

A: When I am on calls, I am usually juggling between having a serious conversation and stopping my baby from grabbing my earphones and chewing on the wire. From time to time, my 5 year-old also loves to feature in my video calls, which can be funny. If she knows I have my camera on, she will appear in the background, just like in a horror movie.

K: As much as we all do our best to keep things professional, it is always fun to see a kid jumping in front of the camera during a video call. It’s and a good ice-breaker! We must remember that sometimes there is a parent on the other side as well, so a little bit of extra empathy, goes a long way.

4. How do you ensure you’re keeping physically and mentally active?

K: Keeping physically fit is difficult, so regular walks & training sessions are essential. A healthy diet also helps, in fact I must admit that in the past 2 months I have actually lost weight, which is a bonus.

However, mental health, is of course a challenge. We try to keep a fun atmosphere at home because in spite of being stuck indoors, there is no reason not to have a laugh!

5. How do you keep yourself motivated?

A: Imagining the “afterwards”  – planning my next holidays helps a lot!

K: Positive attitude!

We are all feeling the impact of Covid-19. The pandemic has affected not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. However, at ICON, we are extremely fortunate. Not only are we a kick-ass team, supporting each other every day, but we are lucky enough to have a compassionate management team looking after our well-being as well.

We receive an unbelievable level of support, from having immediate access to management 24/7, to professional counselling and from time to time, we are also surprised by a healthy snack, delivered straight to our homes.

So don’t forget – we are all in this together!

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