Being placed on furlough may be an option given to you by your employer during the current COVID-19 crisis. Furloughed employees are not allowed to work during this period, so how do you use the time off work most effectively? Or keep yourself from going stir-crazy and depressed while staying at home, especially when you are by yourself.
Apart from the usual tips around looking for things you may have put on for a long time because you either did not want to do it or just really did not have time to do, it might be good as well, to keep your mind trained and awake.
- You can start a new hobby from home. Knitting for example is to be said very therapeutic as it calms your thoughts and releases stress and tensions. You could also start working with other materials, such as wood. Or learning an instrument – which does not necessarily have the size of a piano or the noise of drums.
- Attend online courses to either develop new skills in your profession or learn new skills that may enhance your skills set. You could learn a new language, expand your knowledge in areas that might be add-on to your profession, such as HR legislation for recruiters.
- Become a volunteer for the NHS for example. If you do not want to risk getting in touch with people directly, entities may look for befrienders over the phone. Talk to people who are forced into self-isolation to feel less lonely. Generally, the NHS is looking for a lot of volunteers now. Volunteer to help elderly people to do their shopping for them or other things that need to be take care off, that they cannot do.
- Work on your goals for after the crisis. Set yourself targets nevertheless to work towards – to still have a purpose to get up. They can be job related with a promotion or new challenge in your current role in future. Or something personally like doing another degree maybe.
Finding ways to keep your mind healthy might be a key to overcome a situation of fear and uncertainty. Naturally physical exercise remains a key part of remaining healthy, so a combination of both will ensure you remain sharp, alert and ready for whatever faces you when you return to work.
Elena Longen is an EMEA Recruitment Lead based in our Centre of Excellence, Edinburgh. Elena will be starting a furlough shortly and we look forward her having back to work as quickly as possible.
What strange times we have found ourselves living in, and all in such a quick timescale.
Everyone finds the situation challenging in different ways – some find working from home difficult, isolating perhaps? Some are finding the lack of social interaction challenging and also the restriction on getting out for exercise/fresh air.
From a personal point of view, firstly I have to say I count myself extremely lucky in that a) I am currently employed with the ability to work at home; b) my husband is currently employed and most importantly; c) we are all healthy. I am lucky enough to be able to work at home – meaning I can provide childcare for my 5 year-old while the schools are closed, while earning a living.
It is not without its challenges!
I have found working from home full-time more enjoyable than I initially expected. I find it pretty easy to structure my day and spend more time at my desk than I normally would. I don’t have a need to set an alarm for work in the morning as I have a 5 year-old who likes to get up around 6:30 am!
My personal struggle seems to be trying to entertain my son while working…the school very helpfully sent him home armed with schoolwork exercises, educational websites to visit and an example of what our daily timetable could look like. Unfortunately at his age he isn’t equipped to do a lot of his work unsupervised. He manages to do some work, watch some television and play a bit in between demands for snacks, drinks, hugs, snacks and more snacks. It’s a learning curve for both of us! My team members have, on occasion, been entertained by his somersaults on the couch in the background of our Teams calls!
As a team, the Teams app has been invaluable for keeping in touch, considering I only started with the company less than two weeks ago, I already feel at home – Oh did I forget to mention the other added stress of starting a new job, in a completely new industry?
Do any of you have any useful tips on how we can juggle educating/parenting a child while working at home?
Ciara Brown is a Bids and Presentation Design Executive for Hudson RPO in EMEA.
If working from home is a new experience for you, a few practical measures may help lower your blood pressure a little, writes Chris Hornig, Head of IT for Hudson RPO. Read on for practical advice.
You’ve only got a limited amount of bandwidth on your home internet connection.
If your kids’ school is closed and they are on their phones streaming Netflix, Spotify, and online gaming, while your significant other has the smart TV on streaming the next new boxed set, you might find that trying to host a successful Teams meeting can be problematic.
It might be that there are a few people all working from home sharing the same internet connection?
There are a few things you can do to improve the situation.
Most obvious would be to ask other people to limit the amount of streaming / downloading during work hours.
With the kids, you may have to find a happy medium, maybe asking them to either watch a film or online gaming — but not both simultaneously.
If, rather than streaming on Spotify or iTunes, try the radio or a CD player, or download new music in the evening.
Planning VoIP calls for optimal audio quality
If you’ve multiple people working from home in the same house, and if multiple people need to take VoIP calls, is it possible to arrange meetings around one another?
If audio quality is poor on a call, is there a dial in number you can use? If the host of the call doesn’t have one, maybe a participant on the call has one that can be used? Remember, the people on the call are likely also working from home and may be in a similar situation.
Do you have a better mobile / cell phone signal and an all-inclusive data package? Does the Teams app on your phone give better voice quality than your computer? You can join using your computer for screen-sharing, and use your phone for audio. Make sure you mute your computer, or you may end up with a really bad echo.
Choosing the right location for your router
Where is the WiFi router? If it’s four rooms away and in a cupboard, you might not have a great signal. Is it possible to move it? You may notice an improvement after doing so.
Be sure to also consider:
- Can you purchase an extension cable to move the router to a better location?
- Is a WiFi extender an option?
- Is there an alternative location you can use as an office which provides a better mobile / cell phone signal?
Reviewing these factors can help drive better productivity.
Enabling the right tech for remote working
Working from home can feel a little isolating sometimes, so please use all available tools to keep in contact with your colleagues.
For example, we have Teams / Skype for Business for quick chats or conference calls. What about a quick video call via Teams instead of a voice call?
We also use Yammer for office announcements. If you’ve not used Yammer yet, try it out. There’s also an app for your phone!
As always, make sure you also get away from your computer and stretch your legs. If you’re used to an office environment, think about how much time is spent getting up and walking to make a drink, speak to a colleague, or grabbing something from the printer. Try to keep the same levels of activity up. We all know it’s true that staring at a monitor all day will give you square eyes!
It may be that due to local restrictions you’ll be asked to work from home for several weeks. A few changes now might make for a far more comfortable and productive experience.
We’re always happy to advise on which recruitment technology may be best suited to your business or team, based on immediate and evolving requirements.
We’re pleased to announce our new RPO client partnership with beverage industry leader Keurig Singapore! Our team successfully supported Keurig in Asia with the opening of a new Asia Operational Hub in Singapore. We also supported the client’s recruitment needs in China. Congratulations to everyone involved in this partnership. We look forward to supporting continued growth for Keurig Singapore!
Most of us recognise the International Women’s Day hashtag, #IWD, when it populates our newsfeeds each year on the 8th March.
Perhaps your workplace celebrates this day with various activations, content, and events? Yet, how many of us pause to reflect on the significance of International Women’s Day? What is this annual celebration truly symbolic of?
These were the same questions we started asking ourselves in the lead up to International Women’s Day 2020.
While most of us were aware of this day, it took a moment of pensiveness to allow a more cognisant understanding of the day’s magnitude and to identify a personal connection to the mission that is represented by International Women’s Day.
The day represents three key things: celebrating achievement, raising awareness against bias, and ultimately, taking action for equality. Unpacking the layers would take some time, so we asked our people to explain in their own words the importance of what this day means to them. Discover what they had to say, in the quotes below.
Embracing #IWD at Hudson RPO
“International Women’s day is important to me because as a dad with a fabulously skilled young daughter, the thought of her growing up in a world where she is equally skilled, qualified and eligible as men but may be offered less opportunity simply because of her gender sends shudders down my spine. From the sporting field to the office – things need to change!”
– Adam Taylor, Head of Sourcing APAC
“It is a day where we take the time to celebrate the accomplishments of women of all nationalities, ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. All women including mothers who stay home to raise their children, women re-entering the workforce after years of unemployment, and female CEO’s of Fortune 500’s, make a valuable contribution to society.”
– Christine Santesuanio, Talent Acquisition Consultant
“I believe that throughout history and still in the present day, there are gender-based inequalities meaning that the incredible women face issues that they shouldn’t have to. Women achieve incredible things and deserve to be showcased and appreciated for it at every level. The fact that Women receive 15.4% lower weekly wages and one in two mothers have reported workplace discrimination as a result of their pregnancy makes me very angry, but equally as enthused to make a difference so that the women of today and the women of the future are treated fairly.”
– Brent Honey, Recruitment Co-ordinator – Early Talent
“I support women’s rights and being rewarded for hard work, regardless of gender. I am upset when I hear about examples of those who are undervalued and unappreciated solely because of their gender, in the workplace or elsewhere”.
– Adina Bambur, Senior Recruiter
“International Women’s Day is a day to recognise the progress we have made but also to acknowledge that we still have a long way to go. It is an opportunity to speak up for women around the world that are still disadvantaged and marginalised by gender inequality.”
– Paula McCashin, Senior Recruitment Partner
“It’s an important landmark that celebrates the unending strength of womenkind. It is important to me because on this day, I close my eyes and acknowledge the many roles that I play every day; a committed employee and an equal contributor to the workforce, while being a nurturing mother and an organized home manager. It helps me realize my own strength and potential to keep doing better.”
– Mita Mukherjee, Recruitment Consultant
“It’s important because representing women is also about giving them the right to speak for themselves and represent themselves publicly. Living abroad made me realise not every culture has the same gender equality we have.”
– Karies Tam, Senior Recruitment Consultant
“The international Women’s Day is the respect, appreciation and love for women to the celebration of women’s economic, political and social achievements. I believe that every female compatriot cannot truly express their importance to their family in words.”
– Tiffany Kwok, Recruitment Coordinator
“As a full-time working mother, raising a son; the importance of not only teaching but consistently demonstrating equality to me is absolutely key.”
– Emma Brinsford, Senior Manager Recruitment
“There is nothing that Women cannot do! This is particularly true in my instance – my Mum attained the epitome of success although she was the least literate among all of us in the family. Yet she was titled the “best stakeholder manager” because she knew exactly how to build trust and win the hearts of her loved ones! Women are capable of making a difference in their own capacity in every sphere of life and I’m proud to be one indeed!”
– Christina Raj, Senior Recruitment Consultant
“Whilst there is still such glaring inequality between genders in the workplace, International Women’s Day is critically important. It provides a platform to celebrate and recognise the amazing achievements of women around the world, whilst importantly reminding us that there is still much that needs to be done.”
– Lucy Knowles, Recruitment & Employer Brand Specialist
“It’s important to me because it provides the vehicle and platform for having important discussions that will take us one step closer to the day where we no longer need to fight for gender equality – one step closer to there no longer being a need for International Women’s Day.”
– Margot Moore, Candidate Experience Manager
“International Women’s Day is important to me as I am part of a family of 5, 4 of which are women. My mum inspires me every day and she deserves to be celebrated along with all the other Women who have made an impact to anyone in their lives and society.”
– Natalie Krstevska, Support Team Supervisor
“What International Women’s Day means to me is that every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on.”
– Aimee Muschamp, Recruiter
“This day highlights all of the amazing things that women are doing across the world and inspires our future generation! It also works to overcome the barriers that unfortunately hinder true gender equality, through encouraging education and open dialogue.”
– Charis Turner, Recruiter Business Partner
“As a husband and a father as we unfortunately still need to push for gender equality and women’s rights. The day gives us a chance to highlight and shine the spotlight on these important issues to make sure more and more barriers are broken down, creating a fairer and more respectful world for everyone regardless of gender.
– Jon Grant, Technology Recruitment Lead
“I have grown up with 4 extremely strong and inspirational women in my family, and they have shaped who I am today, through their guidance, advice and care. I want to be able to fight for my family’s equality, as well as for women around the globe, who feel they do not have equal opportunities to pursue the careers and lifestyles that they want.”
– Manny Wahidi, Recruiter
“Equality should not just be a right but also a responsibility – this is how I interpret the theme of this year’s IWD, #EachforEqual. It is an important day since it serves to remind us that it is the right of all kinds of women to be given the same opportunities, the same benefits, the same challenges even, but it is also our responsibility to provide the same “equality” to the rest of the world, even to men. This is very important in my role as an operations lead and as a single mom in a somewhat still traditional (Filipino) type of culture and society.”
– Jamie Bais, Sourcing & Operations Manager
“Having worked in truly diverse teams, I recognise the strength that diversity brings to the workplace. It’s vital that the success of women is recognised, celebrated and encouraged to ensure gender diversity continues to improve as we move forward. I’ve been lucky to work in organizations that have genuinely supported diversity – but we need to keep making progress to give everyone the opportunities that only men had in the past.”
– Andrew Crosby, Resourcing Consultant
“For far too long, women have struggled to have the same opportunities, same rights, and the same freedom as men – when in the first place, they should have these privileges. Women do not need for me to stand up for them, but to stand with them. We are all made equal – as I believe it should be.”
– JP Pimentel, Admin Coordinator
“I believe that women should not be penalized in their careers for starting families. There should be equal opportunity for both men and women when it comes to parental leave.”
– Brigid Hambleton, Operational Excellence Lead
“It’s important to me that we recognise both how far society and our cultural standards have come, but also take a stand on how far we still have to go.”
– Brigitte Ward-Moss, Resourcing Coordinator
“Womans Days is an important reminder to me to reflect on the past struggles, challenges and achievements, whilst continuing to act as an ambassador for female inclusion and equality – especially in the workplace.”
– Adam Decari, Recruitment Business Partner
International Women’s Day represents one piece of a multi-faceted societal, political, economic and cultural movement. It comes as no surprise that the day encompasses meaning in so many diverse ways for each individual.
So, what does #IWD mean to you this year?