When work-life became home-life.

A great post from Paul McGilloway at Stangate HR and something that I am sure resonates with a lot of us! A month on, lets hope he has managed to hang onto some of his sanity!

When work-life became home-life.

The blurring between our office and home environment has certainly come into forced focus due to COVID-19.

The proverbial shit has hit the fan – and seems to be doing so on a daily basis. Like us all, it’s uncomfortable. A fog. Incredulous. And hasn’t finished with us yet.

Then yesterday ‘…schools out for [the foreseeable future].’

With a tensing in my stomach, and a deep sigh I thought: How’s this going work?

Juggling running a business and a very busy home-life.

Home life is 2 boys that create a lot of energy and noise. 7 and 10! One sensitive, artistic, competitive, the other a bull-in-a-china-shop – but at times talks like a wise old sage. They both do every sport there is to do, so this’ll be a whirlwind in a house of cards. In addition my wife has just started a new job that involves travel and long hours while she gets up to speed.

How can I possibly manage all of this, and now be a teacher to my boys? I’m usually level headed and take all in my stride. Not yesterday.

Then… I realised the problem was trying to separate everything. However, I think duality of work life and home life in March 2020 just became one.

In the past working from home would have quite a loud soundtrack pre-call, and would involve herding the boys out of the room, or using the third parent (we call ours Ipad):

“Boys out, daddy’s on the phone. What? Tablet? Yes, no, of course. Just be quiet”.

The two worlds had to be kept separate, the horror if my family life was uncovered in a business call. The poor chap lampooned on BBC as his children toddled and crawled in – but now that should be normalised.

Why can’t they all just be one?

So, from now on, and for the foreseeable (that is the Downing street time-frame, right?). Any call’s, Skype, Facetime Zoom, or Whatsapp, will be with me at home with the boys.

From now, they’ll be floating around, probably asking questions in the background, although more than likely bouncing on the furniture. And that is the reality of all our circumstances now.

Our homes are now our work spaces.

So you don’t need to find the right time. The right thing to distract them. A sprint out the door into another room. A foot to keep the door shut.

And today both me and my wife were on Zoom and Whatsapp video calls and the boys were getting introduced to our new and existing work colleagues. A good start!

This level of contact is imperative to where we find ourselves in March 2020

Within HR we need to know what’s going on out there. HR is incredibly network driven – always has been.

HR changes and adapts as we adapt to different internal and external variables. Hence why HR from 20 years ago is so different today. And COVID-19 is a variable (a bloody big one).

As an HR recruiter who has been in HR, studied HR and now recruits into HR I can only gain knowledge of the HR market place through the people I speak to, which in turn I share with others in HR.

And right now is an important time to be sharing approaches with each other.

The stark reality is HR vacancies aren’t going to be coming through thick and fast over the next couple of weeks. Decisions are going to be drawn out and ropey. We have seen some companies spring into action and also a minority who have just gone into panic mode. Overall though a lot of HR teams have stepped up and are dealing with it.

We can however pass on what other HR people are doing, and from that if there are common trends we can identify those that may help you in your recruitment process or as a candidate act as a barometer to the market.

And if nothing else, you can help me with my boys school work.


Article posted by Paul McGilloway on Linkedin here


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