Some reflections on home-working during the lockdown

We have had a couple of posts (1, 2) from distance learners sharing their existing expertise on working from home, but in this post we hear from Charles Goode, an on-campus full-time PGR in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, who has had to adapt.

Over the past months our daily lives, especially our working lives, have been completely transformed by the Coronavirus. To begin with, I found the lockdown really hard to adjust so thought that it would be a good opportunity to share some personal reflections on home-working. Note that I am currently in my final year, so I’m lucky that my data collection process has not been disrupted.

Adjusting to the ‘new’ normal regarding work

Charles in his office/shed
Charles in his new home office (in the shed)

One of the hardest things I found was separating work from home. I generally don’t work particularly well from home through being easily distracted (especially with the excellent weather)! Continue reading “Some reflections on home-working during the lockdown”

Being remotely productive

In this post, AlAnood Alshaikhsaad, a PGR from the Department of Theology and Religion, shares their advice on remote working from their experience as a distance learning PGR.

A sketch drawing of AlAnood's workstation
AlAnood’s home workstation

To me, remote working is all about time management and prioritizing your tasks. What people tend to miss after jumping from their on-ground non-stop jobs to remote working is the predictable tasking structure a corporate or institution provides. While the flexibility of remote work is one of its most appealing benefits, people are used to a certain routine, and routine can still exist within that flexibility. For example, waking up at a consistent time, getting dressed, fixing a pot of coffee, running through your to-do list, breaking for lunch at noon, scheduling virtual meetings in collaboration with fellow peers or supervisors. Once you define your routine more clearly, stick to it. Continue reading “Being remotely productive”

Defending my PhD via Skype

In this post, April-Louise Pennant, a PGR from CoSS, describes her recent experience of having her viva conducted online.  Congratulations to April-Louise for passing with minor corrections!

April-Louise outside Westmere with her thesisA viva is one of the biggest days of your life, a day you will remember for the rest of your life and the day you defend years of your hard work. If like me, you had to wait 6 months for this day (instead of the usual 2), the prospect of it being cancelled or even postponed – despite a surreal global health pandemic like the Coronavirus – is going to irk your soul.

When it looked likely that a national lockdown was imminent and everything began to move online, I waited with bated breath to hear news about what was going to happen to my viva. Scheduled ages ago for Wednesday 25 March, it was firmly marked in my diary and my mind, and for the last 6 months I had been preparing vehemently. Eight days before my viva, I was informed that it would still go ahead but that it would take place online via Skype. Continue reading “Defending my PhD via Skype”