Rendall & Rittner employees are embracing the new normal and working at home where possible to keep its staff, residents and clients safe. We sat down with Emma Howell, Executive Assistant at Rendall & Rittner to discover the steps the company is taking to ensure everyone’s wellbeing during this time and what she is looking forward to most when lockdown is over.
How are you finding working from home?
It has taken me a while to get used to not having everyone around me, but I have found I can be more productive when there’s silence and no distractions around. I am missing interacting with my colleagues but the ability to video call has really made a difference.
How is R&R supporting staff?
Rendall & Rittner have been great. Prior to the lockdown we were in the process of issuing everyone with company laptops and setting the office up on Microsoft Teams. This has been great as it meant that as soon as the government said we weren’t allowed in the office; staff were able to work remotely and seamlessly. The company also has a flexible working system so many staff are used to working from home when needed.
In addition to everyone having laptops, the company has also been delivering office chairs to all of the staff, helping to ensure everyone is able to work comfortably at home. We are also able to request extra screens or office equipment if needed, which is the delivered to our homes.
A ‘work from home’ blog has been set up and is shared with the whole office, this shares tips and guidance for best desk set ups as well as information on taking care of your wellbeing during the pandemic, this has been a huge hit with staff. Onsite staff also have access to Lifeworks which gives wellness tips, perks and confidential advice.
The company are also encouraging staff to get out of the house and exercise and staff have been nominating each other for the NHS Heroes 5K run, so far, 152 staff have put their running shoes on and have raised £760.
Do you feel kept in the loop?
Yes, completely. The company are hosting Rendall & Rittner TV via Teams each week where the Board of Directors broadcast company updates. Staff can ask questions anonymously to Duncan, this has been a really great way to get to know what is happening within the company and ask the questions that everyone wants to know.
Do you have any top tips for staff working from home?
Have you struggled with motivating yourself on some days? If so how have you overcome this?
I don’t find my motivation any different to when I am in the office. However, I think it’s easier to log on earlier and work later, if anything I have been over productive! I’ve found that I need to be stricter with my time and not let work creep into my home life.
When you get back to the office what is the first thing you will do?
I left an open pack of biscuits in my draw and I am definitely going to throw those away as soon as we are back! I’ll also pay a visit to the rest of the PA team on the fourth floor, we have been having daily catch-ups virtually which has been lovely.
Do you think working from home will become a regular part of our lives?
I think it will become a more popular way of working, but I don’t think everyone could work remotely. It’s nice to be in the office and interacting with team members.
Do you think video-calls will replace more meetings?
They’re great for what they do, but I don’t think they’ll replace face to face meetings. We can learn so much from body language that doesn’t come across via video. However, I think they have given us an advantage in that we have learnt do more things remotely. For example, if a face to face meeting can’t be facilitated, a video call is likely to be used more so now than it was before.
I can see our Rendall & Rittner TV broadcasts on Teams becoming a regular occurrence after the pandemic. Our team is spread throughout the country and this has been a great way of ensuring everyone in the company is on the same page.
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