#WFH during the coronavirus pandemic - committee reflections - Pádraig McCloskey
Updated: Feb 17
During the UK lockdown to limit the spread of coronavirus, we hear from the committee in a series of blog reflections. In this post, our communications lead Pádraig McCloskey shares how he's getting on with lockdown, homeschooling , and bringing his workday to an end.
There are four of us at home; my wife Jo and our two kids Lorcán (11) and Aoife (9). In many ways my daily routine hasn’t changed that much, location and commute aside! My children’s school have been really good in providing inputs twice daily (at 09:30 and 1pm) which means they have just enough structure to maintain routine without feeling they are doing school work all day. They are old enough where they are pretty self-sufficient and can get on with most of their work with only occasional interruptions.
My main reflection is that I have found it a struggle to bring the the work day to an end. One of the benefits of travelling home is that there is a forced break at the end of the day and I was usually pretty good at getting home in good time for us to spend some time together as a family over dinner. While we still have dinner at a similar time I found myself working more around dinner time than before. I know it’s down to me and I just need to be more disciplined in stopping but for some reasons it’s more of a struggle.
Professionally speaking I work in a team which really role models flexible working and working from home and therefore I entered this period having already worked from home fairly regularly and therefore wasn’t concerned about me and my team’s productivity. I am hopeful that this experience will make regular home working more acceptable across the industry.
Routine is obviously critical, trying to eat breakfast at the same time each day, getting dressed, starting work at a set time are all helpful tips. One of the things that has been difficult for us is that my wife has been furloughed and she is the only one that doesn’t have commitments external to the family. Real challenge to maintain balance in distributing the domestic chores and not make assumptions about who should be doing what.
Overall the main benefit has been the family time we have spent taking our daily exercise together. While we previously did stuff together at weekends our daily walks and cycles have become the highlight of our days together, the mood noticeably lifting when we get home.