"Many of us are used to working from home occasionally. In my case it’s usually either side of a business trip or to take an occasional break from my regular commute. Working from home is, after all, more relaxing than being in the office, with fewer interruptions and plenty of home comforts. However, as many of us will have experienced for a month or more now, home working during lockdown is not quite the same. From a personal perspective, it has brought with it a whole host of other challenges and considerations."

“With the schools and nurseries closed, we have a 7-year-old boy and 20-month-old girl at home every day and their interests are not aligned. Despite all my efforts, Elodie is terrible at Rugby (her heart just isn’t in it) and Dexter is no longer interested in watching Peppa Pig – in just 4 weeks, I’ve managed to watch every episode (for those thinking of binge watching, I should warn you there are considerably more than the 46 episodes available on Netflix). My partner is also 7 months pregnant and was recently unwell for a couple of weeks, requiring me to step away from the business for a few days. To compound the challenges at home, social distancing rules mean the usual supporters, the grandparents, are confined to their own homes with no visitors allowed.

Like many other working parents with young children at home during the lockdown, my new working day has no defined start or end to it. I find myself working in chunks of time throughout the day, ranging from a few minutes to a few hours at a time.

In a strange way, the lockdown has brought my work life and home life closer together. One of the children will often walk into my home office (spare bedroom) whilst I’m on a video call and take centre stage, and no matter how engrossed in work I become, I often have to step away from what I’m doing to help out in the home.

Despite the challenges – or rather due to the challenges – I appreciate more than ever that I am part of a supportive and familial work team. I’ve been putting regular calls in across the business during this period to check in on people to see if they are okay and ask if there is anything more that the company can do to make their lives at home easier, and I’m proud to say that it is representative of our company culture that I’ve received two calls myself from people in our Customer Service team asking if I was okay and if there was anything they could do for me to make things easier for me.

As we begin month two of the lockdown, many of us have adapted to the new routine and I continue to consider myself very lucky and would like to thank the whole team for their continued positivity, selflessness, sense of humour and understanding.”