Coronavirus: coping with lockdown

  • Director Nick Hosking in the Derby office 

As the Government announces another three weeks of lockdown, director Nick Hosking who leads the Agency team in Derby tells us how he's coping with working from home

Who are you locked in with?

I’ve been holed up with my wife and kids.  As you can imagine it’s been quite lively with an 8-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son off school.

How has the lockdown and working from home been for you so far?

We settled into a routine early on with my wife taking the strain of home schooling the children while I’m locked away in my office. I’m surprised at how busy I’ve been and have found that I’m both much more productive than usual and am also working considerably longer hours. Weekends and bank holidays have just become normal days of the week.

What has been the best thing about staying in?

I’m not a morning person so the short commute to my desk helps and is certainly something I could get used to. It’s also nice to spend so much time together as a family and certainly puts things into perspective with everything that’s going on in the world.While I miss the office, there are far fewer distractions and it’s easier to get things done.

And what have you missed the most?

It’s a cliché but I miss people; my team, my colleagues and clients. We work in a people business and although we continually keep in touch in various ways and have regular online catch ups, it’s not the same as all being together.

What previously essential thing have you realised is not actually essential?

The need to work from the office 9-5, Monday to Friday. I’m a little old school and have always preferred to spend as much time in the office as I can and have resisted working from home away from my colleagues. I’ve realised I don’t need to waste time in rush hour traffic each morning and in future, I think a mix of working from home and time with my team at the office is probably a better solution.

What are the changes you’ve made that you plan on continuing when restrictions are lifted?

I’ll focus on how I can continue to work productively, be that at home or in other ways. Video conference calls have become the norm and save a huge amount of travel time. 
Another thing I’ve noticed is that it’s good to talk. I’m spending far more time on the phone to my clients and it’s highlighted that email is quite impersonal at times. I’ve enjoyed getting back into the habit of picking up the phone.

Have you made progress on any of your bucket list items?

Most of my bucket list items involve travel so I’ve spent some time online looking at magical, far-away countries I’ve not been to.  When you can barely leave the house, foreign travel becomes massively appealing; a trip to Machu Pichu is very much on the radar.

What is the first thing you will do when isolation ends?

Belatedly celebrate my birthday!

This interview first appeared in The Business