When the pandemic hit in 2020, a huge majority of the UK workforce had to quickly adjust to working from home. We’ve been challenged by juggling home schooling with our workloads, learning new technologies, adjusting to how we connect with colleagues, delivering projects in new ways and trying to provide consistent levels of customer service.
Learning and professional development may have been put on the back burner while trying to deal with these more pressing demands. But Louise Edwards, our Learning and Development Manager, is here to tell us how we can get focused and motivated so we can continue learning and developing new skills while working remotely. Here are her tips for keeping things on track.
The challenge: lack of structure
For some, the flexibility is liberating, for others it can be a real challenge.
- Make a list of what you want to achieve
- Set your goal using S.M.A.R.T. – be specific, ensure you can measure it, ask yourself ‘is it achievable?’, ‘is it realistic?’ and ensure you consider a timescale – when you want this goal completed by
- Split larger tasks into smaller bite size chunks and track your progress
- If you’re taking a qualification, set up and attend regular meetings with your tutor, this will help keep you on track and provide an opportunity to discuss challenges
The challenge: your environment
- Limit any potential distractions or disturbances (people, pets, deliveries). Obviously not everything is within your control, but you can ask those around you not to disturb you for the next 60 minutes or however long you intend to focus on your learning
- Choose the right space for learning – if possible, set up a dedicated, separate desk or table so you can keep your learning space distinct from your normal activities. This will ensure boundaries are maintained between your work/learning and personal life
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Put on some calm music in the background
- Reward yourself once you have completed a challenging task
- Find the best time of day – when is best for YOU to learn. Think creatively, could you listen to a podcast while at the gym or read a development article while waiting to pick the children up
The challenge: being physically distanced from your colleagues
- Keep in touch with your team
- Take advantage of the many video calling software packages available – it’s easier to get your ideas across through video calls than through messages alone
- Look at online resources – bite size learning is at our fingertips, you can use the internet to search thousands of resources. Learning is not always about attending a formal event, take the initiative to look at videos, podcasts, etc.
A focus on learning and professional development is just one of the benefits of working at Premier Guarantee. If you’d like to find out what else is on offer and our latest vacancies, please see our Careers page.
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