Discovering the Joy in HomeWorking – Guest Blog by Carrie Biddle

By 30th September 2020Uncategorised

We’re delighted to share this guest blog from one of our original 15s30mHeroes,
Carrie Biddle – Health Education England South West Regional Head of AHPs.

At the start of June 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, I started a new job and like many this resulted in an overnight change in my work life and daily routines as I swapped hospital and regional community based working with reach and gallivanting across the SW region to working full time from the spare room at home.

In the spirit and the urgency to get on with important tasks to support our future workforce and existing working adjust to working and learning during a pandemic, I cobbled together a makeshift office utilising my 10 year old son’s bedside desk, a spare chair from the kitchen table and literally shoe horned myself into the corner of the spare room, between a table tennis table and the wall and under the surf board rack. This enabled me to work whilst the wonders of home school proceeded in the kitchen under the brilliant tutoring of my husband. (He gets even better and transforms into my superhero sidekick 🕺🏼

Nearly three months in and it had become apparent that my makeshift office was not joyfully beckoning me back.

At the request from a colleague I had agreed to attend the workforce transformation team meeting  to share my knowledge and experience of discovering joy in work. This was exactly the incentive I needed for me to take a moment and reframe my new 2020 way of working moving forwards.

15s30m into action kicked in and I am sharing forwards my home working mission log on this particular voyage of frustration into positive action.

It is frustrating when….My head hurts at the end of the day from squinting at a laptop screen

I can increase joy by….Taking 15mins to find the working from home online support resource, complete my DSE risk assessment and submit request for static large display monitor  (Ordered and arrived within 48hours)


It is frustrating when…My back aches from sitting on hard kitchen chair all day

I can increase joy by…

🏃🏽‍♀️Start day with an exercise plan (3 three mornings a week) 40mins

🧘🏻Schedule and book breaks in diary to leave room and stretch engage in 10&2 stretch and shake routine 15mins

*Recruit husband as superhero sidekick providing him with a home office SOS makeover challenge

🪑Preloved desk and chair sourced within 48hours

It is frustrating when…I feel lonely and unconnected to the outside world.

I can increase joy by…

🛋Create a designated work space I am proud of and comfortable in *
🖼Included bringing out doors outside. Makes a huge different having nature inside and makes me feel like a proper grown up too!!

🎉Unpack desk mementos, awards and cards/ornaments in a ‘pride & achievement’ space to reconnect me with people and moments that have been important to me

🥗Plan and take lunch break with co-worker (husband) an opportunity to have time together without the kids every day.

Book time to virtually check-in with colleagues on a regular basis

☕️Arrange virtual coffee catch ups with others for social interaction not work related stuff

It is frustrating when…I am trying to work when the kids are getting ready for school aka NOT getting ready for school
I can increase joy by…

⏰Avoid non-essential 08:30 meetings.

Adjust start and finish times as after all no travel now. Embrace a culture of flexible working.

As we adjust to the new ways of living and working I have found that taking time to pull through what matters and is important to me into my new routine and work environment has made a difference to my health and well-being. Good news there is joy in homeworking and I was delighted to be able to share my discovery with other colleagues working in similar circumstances.

Want to know more about reducing frustration and increasing Joy in Work? Visit our website, follow us on twitter @15s30m or drop us an email