Now that we're all spending many many hours every day on video chat, we're discovering it's exhausting! Try one or all of these 5 quick hacks to keep your energy up.

  1. I think we've all learnt now that on the days we're working from home, we still need to create an experience of commuting to work. It helps our brain separate work from home and avoid the feeling that work is all we do - so try getting out of those pj's, go for a walk around the block as your mini commute and have a space which is just for work (even if that's just unpacking and packing up your laptop every day).

  2. Breathe... - there is really interesting research coming out that when we're on technology our breathing is much shallower than it should be. This lack of oxygen is a key cause of your exhaustion. Pop a little post-it on your laptop to remind you to take three deep breaths and do that multiple times a day.

  3. Stand up - sitting down all day contributes to shallow breathing and it also contributes to poor circulation and poor posture. Get yourself up, pop your laptop on a pile of books and run those video calls standing up.

  4. Get your screen at the right height - how many people have you seen on video chats where all you can see is their forehead or up their nose? All of this suggests more bad posture, which leads to a feeling of exhaustion. It's not hard, get yourself a pile of books or a box and make sure your camera is at eye level. It makes for a better experience for everyone (and makes you look like you know what you're doing with this new fangled technology...)

  5. Try turning your video off - it feels intense looking at all of those people and seeing them all stare back at little old you. In fact, of course, they are also staring at a screen of 11 people feeling like everyone is staring back at them. Instead, turn your video off for five minutes each meeting and concentrate instead on listening to what your colleagues are saying, the tone of their voice and seek to hear the unsaid messages that might be getting lost in the technology.

Check out this great post for more from Dr Susan Pollack

Over the last few days, I've been splitting my computer screen to show Pippa the Albatross on one side and my work on the other. From this experiment (of one), I can confidently say that Pippa is the WFH colleague we all need right now and you should go and check her out immediately. And here are some very compelling reasons why:

1. Make sure your sound is turned on. The wind coursing around the hilly outcrop that Pippa is nesting on makes for some outstanding white noise. Perfect for either masking the reality that you are all alone in your house (cue extrovert sob) or for masking the sound of your other WFH colleagues (partners, kids, parents, neighbours) doing extremely distracting things.

2. Pippa is very calm and a great listener. If you're not quite sure how to solve that work problem, have a chat to Pippa. She doesn't interrupt or tell you what to do, she just listens and gives you time to reflect. Although, full disclosure, she has turned her back on me a couple of times, which I am taking as feedback. Hope the same doesn't happen to you.

3. Pippa spends a lot of time looking at that view. And what a view it is! It's a reminder to us of perspective. The world is bigger than what is happening to us humans right now and it's a pretty amazing place. Pippa is growing her strength for the challenges in her future and so are we. If you're feeling "covid-anxiety" (it's a thing), sit alongside Pippa for a few minutes and check out that view.

You can spend a few minutes with Pippa here.

  • Sara Broadhurst

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Given this time of social distancing, we have taken our High Performance coaching programme*, pulled out some simple actions that will make a real difference and added in a WFH flavour.

This is not the full programme, just some tasty bits to help you keep growing.

Having built talent and succession programmes and selected, mentored and promoted superstars over the years, we see the qualities common to all of those great individuals are:

1. Robust Self-awareness;

2. Great Decision-making;

3. Reliable Delivery, no matter the circumstances; and

4. Broad and deep Connectedness.

Click on our Resources Page to get the full document which talks about what you can do to grow and demonstrate these qualities at work, with some added WFH prompts. Feel free to share.

If you have any questions about being a high performer or our model, please get in touch. We're always happy to chat things through.

At Fortis Street, we work with individuals and teams who are striving to optimize their performance. They know that there is always more to give. And more to gain.

*aka "how to be a freakin' superstar at work"