Working from home - Matthew Weait's experience

We spoke to Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Matthew Weait to see how he and his team are adapting to working from home. He was full of great tips, personal insight and pragmatic advice.

How are you and your team getting on working from home?

We are working really well! It’s taken quite a bit of getting used to, but it’s amazing how quickly people adapt. The biggest adjustment for me has been fending off the cats while I’m trying to write or take part in a team meeting. For some reason, they don’t quite get it!

What would you recommend for other teams who are getting to grips with this new way of working?

It’s really important to schedule regular breaks, get fresh air (outside, or from an open window), and to stay hydrated. Use the chat function if you’re in a team meeting to let people know you have left the meeting for 5 minutes, if you need to take a ‘phone call etc (it stops people wondering if your connection has gone down). Stretch as much as you can. Stand and walk around while others are talking, or while you are (if you’re on a mobile device).

What have you been doing more of now you’re home more? Exercise? Binging a certain programme? Baking? Tidying? 

Less exercise, sadly, because my local gym has closed. But I am fortunate to live very close to the Thames, and the South Bank is deserted in the evenings; so, I have been walking up there each evening. It’s eerily beautiful at the moment, and I don’t think I will ever see it like this again.

What have you been doing to stay mentally fit and alleviate stress and anxiety? 

Wordfeud online with friends – it’s a great way of staying in touch, chatting and keeping up with people. I’ve also been reading Hilary Mantel’s new novel, The Mirror and the Light.

How are you making it work around your life?

I love my work, and I love the energy I am getting from colleagues at the moment. It’s exhausting for everyone, but particularly for those with caring responsibilities – whether for children or other relatives, or for vulnerable neighbours. I take my hat off to people who are juggling so much stuff. Incredible.

How are you ensuring you/your team remain engaged with the Herts community? 

Using social media – LinkedIn especially; and when I am on campus, I have been walking around, saying hi to people from a distance – a smile and a hello can mean a great deal.

Check out what Matthew was talking about:

Linked in                  Wordfeud                    Working from home (Health and wellbeing)


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