We wanted to tell some of our Community’s stories during the lockdown and share any tips they have on how best to cope with the current challenges.
Barry Singleton, Chief Relationship Officer at Scaled Insights, starts us off with his take on reaping the benefits of virtual community.
I guess we’re more accustomed than many businesses to virtual communications, operating as we do across the pond from our bases in Canada and here in Leeds, but we do miss the actual meetings, ad hoc chats and catch-ups in the Nexus coffee bar with other members, who we regard as friends as well as colleagues. Almost a year after setting up home at Nexus, I’d become accustomed to looking forward to those serendipitous casual collisions that spark interesting conversations, and collaborations.
Because we are a community, just like families, we’re making the effort to keep in touch. Regular video calls between members, Leeds Digital Festival head honcho, Stuart Clarke’s, Tuesday and Friday lunchtime Zooms and Slingshot’s Friday afternoon drinks and quiz – they all help to give us a sense of belonging as we work through these strange times.
And the Nexus engagement team are playing an incredibly important role in that process – helping us to keep vital projects on track, develop new initiatives and secure the skills and talent we need, including for a current research project.
Working with the Marketing division of University of Leeds’ Business School, we’re reviewing applications from students to work with us on the project, which aims to assess people’s attitudes to AI-enabled software.
Our research team is also working closely with researchers at the University, led by Dr Stuart Flint, to explore thoughts and behaviours relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapidly changing impact it is having on the way we live.
Not business as usual, of course, but certainly business in progress, from our work-from-home bases. My top WFH tips?
- Dress for work – and not just the top half, with the PJs or party pants out of the Zoom picture – it puts you in work mode.
- Set up a designated workspace – not the laptop on the sofa – you need to trick your mind into thinking you’re at work.
- Manage your time – not 9 to 5 necessarily, but planned work slots and coffee/lunch breaks.
- Ask yourself what matters most today and what matters least and do the most important (often the most difficult) things in the morning – then things can only get better!
- Find your inner resilience and be kind to yourself – these are undoubtedly tough times for many people, and we are all having to adapt to a different lifestyle for the time being.
- Keep talking! It’d be very easy to slip away quietly and try and handle this situation on your own, but a problem shared truly is a problem halved.