Since starting with Forkliftaction about 10 years ago, I have spent a large proportion of my working life, working from home with little kids...I have three (ages 3 to 10).
For many, when we think of 'working from home' we like to imagine it will look like this:
And for Forkliftaction's Rodger, sometimes (in better times) that's exactly what it looks like:
However, for me it looks more like this:
That is, doing my best to fit work in whenever and wherever I get a chance (and then feeling guilty about not fitting in more proactive parenting).
However working from home with kids does have its perks: when you need a quick break to recharge who better to call upon than the littler occupants of your home office. Trust me a good game of balloon 'keepy uppy' will get those brain cogs firing again.
From the kitchen table: working from home, a work in progress
Many in the industry have been thrown into remote working full-time more recently. We are staying at home (where our work allows for it) in an effort to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic. We are video conferencing to the backdrop of squealing kids, our new office taking the form of kitchens, balconies, bedrooms and couches.
For me personally, I have come to realise how much I have come to depend on getting out and about when working with kids underfoot. An easy bribe to get them to comply: 'If you let me get some work done now kids I'll take you out to the playground/library/grandparents/ice-cream later'.
I have found it inspiring over the past weeks to see the huge variety of ways that people are able to keep instilling fun into their household throughout a hugely stressful time. Even though the phrase 'we're all in this together' has been bandied about a lot lately, the idea still resonates for me.
As we don't know how long we will be working in these conditions, perhaps sharing some boredom busters for your kids might be helpful? Pull these out when you are out of ideas and you need time to:
write an email
| participate in a virtual meeting
(just make sure they are in another room) | or write a report
. And let me know if you have some fun ideas and resources you'd like to share! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The impact of COVID-19 on the materials handling industry
As COVID-19 has escalated, Forkliftaction News has been working hard to keep you up-to-date with how it is impacting your industry.
Last week we published two reports focusing on the situation in the UK
, which featured interviews with manufacturers and industry associations. We also saw people taking on new jobs
to restock shelves and keep things moving throughout the pandemic.
It's important to assess the practical skill level of new starters.
This week we continue this coverage, there is a report on the impact of COVID-19 in the US
, news that Konecranes has initiated talks
about possible layoffs and a reminder from UK associations AITT and RTITB that it is vital for forklift operator training to go on
throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In a positive report, we see it looks like manufacturing in China is now bouncing back
. As always, we rely on people in the materials handling community to share their news so that we can deliver reliable coverage week after week. You can send us your news here
Saying thank you to our essential workers
It has been really touching to see communities come together to share their gratitude
and appreciation for our essential workers (health professionals, warehouse workers, mechanics, safety trainers, truck drivers, teachers, supermarket employees) and everyone who is working hard to get us through this. I would love to use this blog as a venue for thanking some of the hard-workers in our materials handling community. If you know someone within your organisation who deserves a digital pat-on-the-back please email us
, we'll mention them all in a special 'honour roll' in next week's blog. Or feel free to post with #KitchenTableMingle
Staying together throughout social distancing
We humans are social creatures; we are wired to seek out social connection
. Much of the advice I've seen on protecting your mental health throughout social distancing restrictions indicates that finding ways to socialise digitally are highly beneficial
Managers are now working to keep teams of remote workers together and motivated adopting the help of platforms like Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp to keep communication going. But it's not all smooth sailing. Here's what Forkliftaction's Ann has to say about our initial troubleshooting with digital team meetings, which she admits were 'fairly painful events':
"For the first meeting we settled on Skype because in that group of people that was the easiest choice. We experienced delays to get everyone connected, then we had some sound problems because some of us had their mic too close to speakers, and then we quickly had to learn techniques to avoid speaking across each other... a few hiccups and lots of extra time!"
What are your tricks for a successful virtual team meeting, or perhaps you have general advice for keeping team unity and productivity during social distancing? Email us!
If you're interested over on LinkedIn
I've also been talking about some of the ways that the Forkliftaction team has been going about virtual gatherings with their families. We'd love to hear about ways that your family have been connecting while physically apart.
Keeping business momentum in challenging times
Today we launch our new GLOBAL Virtual Expo
, with the aim of supporting business during these challenging conditions. Check out the first of our exhibitor showcases and stay tuned we will be updating the expo frequently. Week one we bring you a varied selection of solutions including a camera monitor system, ergonomic order picker, a selection of lithium battery solutions, a multifunction armrest and a straddle carrier. ENTER HERE
A game to help us pass the time
So you think you know your forklifts? We'll see about that! Try ordering these canary-yellow beauties in order from oldest to newest - add the decades of manufacture to your answer if you are feeling particularly clever:
Email us your answers!
Click for larger view
Photo challenge: what's on your desk?
People really keep some strange things on their desks don't they? Here are a few quirky companions currently on the desks of the Forkliftaction team:
Email yours to us to KTM@forkliftaction.com
or post on Twitter
Keep in touch
Thanks for meeting us here at our Kitchen Table Mingle. We'd love to hear about your stories and experiences, get involved on social with #KitchenTableMingle
or send us an email to KTM@forkliftaction.com
The Forkliftaction team has also started sharing some of our experiences during this time via the Forums, hop on over to our Join the Kitchen Table Mingle thread
if you'd like to share yours.
Aside from the #KitchenTableMingle
, we hope that some of our free resources may help you stay connected with your industry throughout the pandemic. This is obviously an incredibly tough time for a lot of people, with jobs and businesses (and of course health) at risk. We hope our forums and jobs pages might be of assistance in seeking out advice and finding new opportunities. Feel free to contact us
as well if you have ideas about others ways we might be able to help.
In the meantime stay safe and take care here's some music to sing us out and hopefully put a smile on your face