Home working at NVT Group – Graham Stevenson

Since lockdown began, our team have been working from home to keep our clients connected. As home working continues, we’re catching up with some of our team to see how they are adapting to the new norm.

Can you give a description of what your role entails? 

Overall, my role has included many different marketing activities, from digital marketing and social media management, through to event sponsorship activation, branding, advertising, graphic design and corporate communications.

What does your working day look like now you’re working from home? 

For me, working life under lockdown is not too dissimilar to usual.  For the past four years I have been working mostly from my home in Manchester, while taking regular trips to the office in Bellshill for meetings and to catch up with colleagues.

Obviously, those meetings are now happening via webcam and a usual day involves me checking in with our Senior Management and/or Business Development teams and providing a report on recent activities.  For the rest of the day, I’m left to fulfil the next agreed actions.  Today those actions include writing this profile for our website and social media channels.  (How meta is this article, right now?)

What has been the biggest changes or challenges in your role?

In a world where we are distancing physically, a lot of the mechanisms we are used to using as part of our marketing strategy, e.g. events and seminars, have been postponed indefinitely.  So our digital marketing activity is more important than ever nowadays.  We have also taken a fresh look at our presentation materials and enhanced them so that they are even more engaging when being delivered virtually.

How have you adapted to the overall change?

Nowadays I have been making great use out of the video conferencing and screen sharing capabilities of Microsoft Teams.  Being able to show a work in progress and get immediate feedback on it, just like I would be able to do face-to-face has been a game changer.

Working remotely, how do you stay productive and connected with your team?

Working remotely forces you to set yourself targets – some big and some small – and that’s a good way to help prioritise and to stay on top of your workload.

With regards to staying connected, it’s once again all about keeping in touch through video conferencing platforms like Teams and Zoom.  We have two social calls a week and it’s always great to see lots of different faces and have a catch up with everyone.

Do you have any tips for home working?

Even without the restrictions of a lockdown, working from home can be challenging at first, but it is definitely something you get used to.

For me, it’s always been important to get out of the house once a day to avoid cabin fever setting in, so recently I have been using the time allowed to do some walking – usually first thing in the morning when it’s even quieter on the streets of SW Manchester.

Working from home can also feel quite isolating sometimes, especially if you are home alone.  Prior to the pandemic, I would keep up to date with what was going on in the world by having the 24hr TV news channels playing in the background throughout the day.  However, during the crisis, it has been important to switch that off when it all gets a bit too much.  So, it’s good to have balance.

Do you have any interesting or funny lockdown stories to share? 

They say that they aren’t the neediest pets, but my long-haired tom cat Henry is becoming even more high maintenance than usual now that I am home more often.  He usually waits until I am in the middle of a Teams meeting to demand attention and so he has made guest appearances in a few of them!

What are you most looking forward to in the future?

I have a house move coming up hopefully very soon.  I am also looking forward to getting in my car and taking that long drive back to Scotland as soon as it is safe to do so!