5 Min Staff Interviews on Working from Home: Adrian
Fratelle Group, like many other businesses, has shifted our staff to working from home. While this measure is to protect the safety of our team, it brings its own unique challenges and opportunities. The face of our daily work day has definitely changed and adapting to it has been an interesting process. Here we run quick 5 minute interviews with some of our staff to see how their work and home life has changed and how they are finding it.
What is your typical working day routine?
‘I work with my wife as we both run the business, we made a deal to look after our four and a half year old and our two year old in shifts as schools and day-cares closed. On a typical day, one of us will get up in the morning and work through to midday, while the other will look after the kids. We swap at midday and the other will work until the evening. This makes our days long, as we are trying to squeeze 8hrs of work in a morning or afternoon while the other is looking after the kids.
For me on the morning work shift, I will wake at 5:30am, put my ugg boots on, go downstairs to our basement home office and start working. I will stop work to have breakfast with my wife and the kids at around 7.30 then go back downstairs to work. I try and avoid making too much noise so my two year old forgets I’m down there or he would want to come join me and I wouldn’t get any work done! I finish up with work between 12:30 and 1pm, and take the shift with the kids for the afternoon. At the end of the day, I often will do another 1 or 2hrs of emails in the evening when the kids have gone to bed.’
What do you find is the biggest change in what your work life looks like?
‘Our business is very adaptable so I found the changes whilst many, they were easy to manage. Avoiding face to face meetings wasn’t too difficult as we often design homes for clients all around Australia and even overseas. Meetings with these clients more often than not would be by video conference calls. Working from home with kids was the biggest and toughest change in my work life. Being both under 5, they don’t really understand that you can’t play with them for the best part of the day. I can see you so why can’t you play with me!’
What do you find is the biggest change in what your home life looks like?
‘Spending far more time with the kids, including trying to home school them and learning how to home school. We have also had to learn how to keep our kids active at home during the week rather than being able to take them out like we would on the weekend to places like playgrounds or for a kayak.’
What is the hardest challenge in working from home?
‘When the kids know you are home, and they want to be with you. And you want to be hanging out with them too but you have to work. That’s very hard.’
What do you enjoy the best about working from home?
‘Working from home has forced us to spend more time with the kids, and that has really brought us all closer together. It’s definitely the greatest benefit to this whole difficult situation.’
What is your ‘hot tip’ to achieving a good balance of work/home life?
‘My best tip to a good work/home life balance is definitely making sure that you have a dedicated space to work from. With a door! At our home, we don’t have a door to separate our office in the basement from the rest of the house. There is just a baby gate but the kids can look down and see us, and that means there’s also often a lot of noise that can be heard in the basement.’
Are you working from home? How has this impacted your work and other aspects of your life? Are you able to find the positives in this situation?