Franchisees share how they are adjusting to the new normal
As more of the UK turns to self-isolation and social distancing, balancing personal and professional lives with home-schooling and other duties, remaining positive through these trying times is paramount.
In this new series, we speak with franchisees and franchisors from across the UK to find out how they are coping with “the new normal”.
We speak with three ((BOUNCE)) franchisees from across the UK to find out how they are coping with the new normal.
On working from home with children
Claire Blue, ((BOUNCE)) St Albans: Working from home with my children has been challenging to say the least. But I’ve found that scheduling my work and family time helps me get some structure to my day.
Hana Westbrook, ((BOUNCE)) Didcot: I’ve tried not to apply to much pressure on my working role and my children’s schooling. We have learnt that using a power hour at set times in the day helps us all stay focused.
Harriet Blizzard, ((BOUNCE)) Dunmow: I realised very quickly that you need to be more adaptable than normal when working from home. You can have the most well-planned timetable for home-schooling and your work to-do list, but your priorities can completely change in an instant. Trying to roll with the changes can be challenging but it’s the best op-tion for keeping us happy and stress-free.
On how to cope with the pressure caused by the coronavirus crisis
CB: The crisis has caused massive pressure but I’ve been trying to focus on the positives and get into a healthy routine for food, exercise, sleep and work. I do our new online classes once a day with the kids to ensure we still get some physical activity in. I’ve also been trying to stay away from fake news on social media as much as possible, although this easier said than done! I prefer to wait for a news bulletin in the morning or evening, so I’m not bombarded with updates all day.
HW: It’s ok to feel overwhelmed as emotions and anxieties are heightened during these uncertain times. Take a step back when it’s needed and try to find a positive from every situation. Creating a to-do list can also keep your focus and motivation up as ticking each item off is a small but important success!
HB: For me, it’s about two things. The first is owning your feelings. If you wake feeling overwhelmed about another day on lockdown then own it! Tell someone about it because it will be much easier to move-on and start your day.
The second is exercise. No matter what headspace you’re in, exercise will help to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and allow you the chance to refocus. The natural release of endorphins when you exercise gives your body an automatic reset button. Take the opportunity to reset and everything will feel better and more achievable after that.
On how to balance work and personal lives while working from home
CB: It’s important to keep the working week the same as pre-lockdown. This means working Monday to Friday then relaxing at the weekend. If you stray from this structure, then working from home can be too intense. I make sure I have regular breaks from my laptop and all screens and try to enjoy time with my family as much as I can.
HW: Setting a lockdown routine is a work in progress for my family. We have lots of breaks, allow room for movement throughout the day and completely mix it up where we need to. My children are eight and 10 years old, so our routine can’t always be set in stone. Sometimes my working hours need to be done while they’re in bed – but that’s okay! These are strange times for us all so there’s no right or wrong way to manage it – just do whatever feels right for your family.
HB: I try to adjust my focus throughout the day to the needs of the people around me. Taking time to sit, eat and connect with family is important and in these moments, I try to make sure I am fully present and leave my phone and emails. In the same way, time to play with my children and help them with their school-work is equally important. However, my family also know there are times when I need to focus on work. My children are aged seven and five and I feel it is important for them to understand that work is an important factor in allowing our family to live the lifestyle we do.
My workday is sometimes much longer since COVID-19, as I may log on earlier in the morning or work until later in the evening to facilitate family time and togetherness during the day.
On adapting to the new normal of working from home
CB: I’m lucky that part of my job can be done from home so I can still feel productive in the normal working week. I also keep all my social platforms for my franchise studios active to stay connected with my attendees. We are all in this together and I want to make sure that we maintain our ((BOUNCE)) community and family despite not being able to see each other face-to-face.
HW: It’s been a tricky start, with my husband and I working from home with two kids, but I’m just glad we are all happy, healthy and in this together.
HB: Some days are better than others and that’s okay! I enjoy the great days and don’t wallow in the not so great ones! I make sure I exercise with ((B)) @ HOME or yoga, walk the dog, take two minutes to appreciate the small things and make sure there is plenty of wine in the fridge!
On staying positive
CB: “Keeping positive is tricky when there is no end in sight, but I try to focus on the opportunity to spend more time with my family. Staying connected is so important, so I use FaceTime and apps like House Party to communicate with my family, colleagues, and friends. Exercise is vital during this lockdown as staying active helps keep my brain fresh and focused, so I get a daily workout in with our new online classes, ((B)) @ HOME, launched specifically to help during isolation.
HW: It’s important to keep life fun so I’m making sure I spend lots of time on friends, fitness, and cuddles with my family. I ((BOUNCE)) at home a couple of times a week with the online classes and other days we take the dog for a walk as a family. I use FaceTime for daily catch ups with my friends.
HB: I’m trying to enjoy the extra time we have right now and live in the moment. There are friends I’ve been meaning to catch-up with for so long and it’s amazing that we have been able to spend this time reconnecting. Phone calls, messages and token gestures are more important than ever right now. Checking in with those around us is so important and while these are uncertain times, it’s a great way to make sure you’re feeling positive and empowered by supporting those around you as much as you can.
The change in pace has given me the opportunity to sit down and evaluate where my franchises are in their journey. I’ve looked at the things we’ve done well and the things that need improvement when life goes back to normal. It’s a great time to take stock and refocus my mind to generate a lot of new and exciting ideas going forward.