Working from home was a daunting prospect initially for IMPACT jobactive Recruitment Advisor David Maxey-Fisher, but, like many others, he's finding his feet.
“I'm quite a social person so I wasn't looking forward to it,” David said.
“I resisted the idea. What made it easier was clear and positive direction from our GM Paea Ruka (IMPACT’s Employment and Training General Manager). Paea doesn't micro-manage so everyone has the flexibility to find their own feet, especially in such changing times. She treats us like professionals, not naughty children.”
Another thing that's made David's transition to working from home easier is that IMPACT’s jobactive team is an established and experienced group with a strong bond.
“Our team in jobactive has been working together for four years, some longer than that, so we've been through all possible trials and tribulations together. And now we're together in these new challenging circumstances,” David said.
And he is finding that communications with clients has taken on a new level of care and attention.
“It can be tricky managing your relationships with clients. With established clients it's easier because you've built some rapport with them, but with new clients, you have to make a more concerted effort to connect,” David said.
“Everybody is thinking on their feet.
“We've been using video conferencing for mainly internal comms and talking to providers and some employers, but for clients it's mostly telephone which lacks a little of the personal touch where you can look someone in the eye and shake their hand.” (Pre-coronavirus, of course).
For David it's been not too bad at home, adjusting to the new living and working arrangements.
“It's good because both children are at university and I have extra space in which to work.
“My wife and I both understand that work is an important part of our lives. I also have to make an effort not to be annoying or inflexible and invade her home space.”
David is finding a workable routine. He gets ready for work in the morning, puts on his “uniform” and goes off to a dedicated workspace.
The transition to "Work David" is complete, as he gets into the right operating rhythm. But he knows that like others, he doesn't have all the answers about adjusting to remote duties – just what is working for him.
IMPACT’s Managing Director Tanya O’Shea has praised the efforts of the large number of staff working from home.
Ms O’Shea said it was important for all staff, particularly those working from home, to adopt strategies that worked for them to separate work from other parts of their life.
She shared a TEDx talk by Dr Adam Fraser which explores the strategy of developing a “third space” to help workers achieve greater balance.
View the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2rdMjnhAgM
This is part of our series on IMPACT staff and how they’re adapting to the changing times brought on by COVID-19. Our inspiring staff remain as committed as ever to the delivery of vital services and programs that enable people in the Bundaberg region to Live, Grow and Prosper.