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Prue’s flex work story

Prue has years of flexible work experience including working part-time hours and working from home. She shares insights and tips into her flexible work mindset and how her experience changed while working from home during coronavirus.

"I’d say it’s exceeded my expectations in how open and willing colleagues and outside stakeholders have been to all the various forms of communication and breaking down the usual red tape to get things done."

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure. I’m a busy mum and wife working four days a week in an in-house public relations role for a great group of champagne and spirits brands.

Have you had any experience working from home or in flexible work arrangement/s prior to COVID-19?

Yes. My current and previous roles are all fairly outcome focused so I’ve been able to work from home or other locations as needed, as long as me and my manager agree the work is being done. I’ve also negotiated to work part time for previous and current roles.

How has working from home during COVID-19 compared to your expectations?

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect as it wasn’t just me working from home but all my colleagues, and of course my husband was working from home too. In saying all that, I’d say it’s exceeded my expectations, in how open and willing colleagues and outside stakeholders have been to all the various forms of communication and breaking down the usual red tape to get things done. On the home front, it’s been lovely to duck out for a play and cuddle in the middle of the day with my son, and to catch up over a coffee with my husband.

What are the benefits you've experienced in working from home?

Easier mornings with no commute. Increased productivity because I can focus when needed without interruption of being in an office. Increased team morale as it’s been such a huge shared experience. Seeing my family more.

What’s been your biggest distraction or challenge, and how have you overcome it?

Ensuring that I’ve been adapting work priorities as the business environment has changed so quickly. For me, it’s being ok with letting something go to switch focus to something more important at the time.

How has your experience changed your thinking on working from home?

It’s been seamless and something I’ll be looking to do more often rather than feeling like I’m missing out on “face to face time” by not being in the office.

How has this experience changed the way you will work moving forward?

I’m currently planning to spend two out of four days in the office.

What does your at home workspace look like?

I’m lucky to have a separate room for my workspace which is set up at a window. It can certainly be improved as it was set up ad hoc and in a rush when lockdown first started.

Have your working relationships changed or grown in working virtually with each other? If so how (i.e. benefits, challenges, improvements)?

Yes, they’ve grown and improved by having this shared experience. We’re also meeting more as a team rather than relying on bumping into each other in the corridor.

What’s your working from home ritual? (i.e. your morning routine, something that helps you feel in the zone or you enjoy now you’re not in the office)

I’ve chosen to wear smart casual rather than activewear so I feel like I’m working rather than on a day off. I love heading up the street mid morning to grab a coffee too.

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