Trainee Legal Executive, Kate Theobald, shares her top 5 tips on working from home.

Since the Government guidelines were issued which stated elderly and pregnant women should shield at home for 12 weeks, I was advised to work from home for the foreseeable future due to being 27 weeks pregnant and at first it was not a experience I was looking forward to. I love my job and going into the office to work with my team and meeting clients and contacts, so the thought of not being able to do so was an adjustment I had to make.

However, as the official lockdown was then announced and my colleagues were also in the same position – working from home was now the “new normal” for most people, including my family, which has helped me keep my sanity by having some company at home as well as tag teaming supervising my 3 year old son at the same time!

Home office setup and sticking to a routine

I set up a comfortable workstation at my kitchen table, looking out onto my garden and the woods beyond which is a welcoming sight, watching spring bloom over the last two months and listening to the birds has made me enjoy nature more.

I decided to try and stick to a daily routine by getting up and dressed ready for work as normal and having regular screen breaks and a lunch hour if possible.  Unfortunately I have not been able to exercise as much as I would have liked to, but have been able to do some online yoga sessions and go on short walks in the woods, which have been extremely good for both my physical and mental health.  I have also been more disciplined with my eating habits, as working in the kitchen four steps away from the fridge isn’t ideal!  But I have eaten more healthier snacks at home than when I was in the office with the temptation of the tuck shop or my bottom drawer full of sugary snacks!

Wills, Trusts and Probate work: adapting to change

The lockdown has changed the way I work, as usually in my department of Wills, Trusts and Probate, we see clients face to face and send letters out to correspond with them, often enclosing documents etc.  However, I have adapted to use email, telephone and video communications with clients a lot more, which have been great in respect that the IT support has enabled us to do so. I would also not have managed to be able to do my job to the extent I have done during this period without the support of my team on a daily basis.

In the world of Private Client, working from home is not entirely practical, especially when needing to assess an elderly client’s capacity or witness a document for them.  This is a major concern for everyone in this legal sector at present and going forward, unless there are changes to the law, it restricts how well we can service our clients.  However, this will be something we will all have to adapt to in the future or until some form of normality resumes.

My 5 “Top Tips” on WFH during lockdown would be:

  1. Create a suitable workspace with all necessities to hand
  2. Devise your own daily routine
  3. Communicate with colleagues
  4. Take regular breaks throughout the day and remember to drink plenty to keep hydrated
  5. Make time to virtually socialise with friends and switch off from work at the end of the day!

At Ellisons, our team continue to working remotely, and we remain open and will do everything that we can to support you through these challenging times. For latest insights please check our COVID-19 Business Support page.