Employer Q&A: Severn Trent on becoming a study-from-home pro

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A graphic including the Severn Trent logo

We know it's tough studying from home, so we have been asking employers for tips to help you adjust to the new normal.

In today's Q&A, Severn Trent share everything you need to know about studying from home, from staying motivated to adding structure to your day.

Having a routine can give an increased feeling of security and purpose within the context of uncertainty. What advice do you have for adding structure to your day working or studying at home?

Keep as close to your normal routine as possible

However, don’t set too rigid a timetable that sets you up for immediate failure! Give yourself some breathing space and flexibility divide the days into chunks rather than specific blocks of time.

Have the correct study/workspace set up:

A graphic showing a to-do list

Keeping structure in your day is vital to

effective working (image: Freepik)

Here are a few things you can try:

  • If you have a keyboard you could try putting your laptop on something flat and steady, like some big books – the top of the screen should be in line with your eyes top of the screen - or slightly below—eye level. Position the monitor at least 20 inches (51 cm) from your eyes—about an arm's length distance.
  • If the table you’re working from is the wrong height can you use an adjustable chair to compensate?
  • If you don’t have a mouse and are using the pad on the centre of your lap top, just make sure you are changing your activity regularly.

Be active!

As we’re all at home for most of the day, it’s important that we try and build time into our days, and stay active. If you’ve got a garden, then take advantage of that (whilst the weathers good). That doesn’t necessarily mean doing laps of your garden, but do some stretches. Just be careful not to stretch too much if your muscles aren’t warm. If you don’t have a garden, then how about considering taking part in one of the online exercise classes?

Take breaks

When you’re busy working, it’s easy to forget to take regular breaks, but it’s important to give your brain time to rest and recuperate. Try to leave your workspace for at least five minutes every hour, even if it’s just to make a quick cup of tea.

Get dressed

Boy on sofa with fan

Keeping motivated is essential to continued

study (image: Muhammad Ruhan)

Staying in your PJ’s all day might sound appealing, but it can make us feel sluggish and demotivated. To help you wake up and feel ready for a productive day, have a quick shower and get dressed before logging on.

Stay healthy

Try to maintain a healthy diet and fuel your brain and body with lots of nutritious foods. Some of the best "brainpower" foods are green vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and berries.

Be kind

As well as looking after yourself, look out for those who might need your support. Being kind at this time is important and the smallest thing could make a huge difference to someone –sending a text to say "I’m thinking of you" could really brighten someone’s day.

Try to relax

Meditation and mindfulness is a good way to calm yourself when you’re feeling worried – there are lots of apps to help you do this, such as Headspace, Calmand Moodpanda.

Working or studying from home can be lonely, what tips do you have for maintaining social interaction?

 Stay connected

  • Friends together in the playground

    It's hard being away from friends, so why not

    meet up online (image: Thomas Tallis School)

    While studying from home, try to stay in touch with classmates, friends, family and other networks and share how you’re feeling – it’s likely that your close ones feel the same way you do, so talk about it together.
  • Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. Why not have virtual study tea breaks?
  • This is also important in looking after your mental well-being and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.
  • Remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too.

Some helpful links on mental health:

How can students prepare themselves for looking for an apprenticeship or further education opportunities after the coronavirus?

  • Student on a tablet

    Use your time off to research what you could

    do in your career (Image: Thomas Tallis School)

    There’s a huge amount of online resources to help prepare, if you’re looking for either an apprenticeship, or considering further or higher education. Take time to think about what your ultimate goal is, and what you need to do get there.
  • If you’re considering further education opportunities, then you’ll no doubt be considering what your passion is, academically. We all choose a course to study, for a variety of reasons, but whatever subject you’re considering, remember to consider the personal development opportunities that come with it. In the long term, whatever route you take after completing those studies, developing personally, as an individual, is important.
  • Remember, a lot of organisations will offer continual development, so whilst the entry route into an organisation might be a lower level of apprenticeship programme, then if university is an option you’re considering, does the employer offer the opportunity to continue that education, through part time degree’s, and the relevant point. Some useful websites to research options are listed below.

What technology and digital solutions can students use to make studying at home easier?

If you’ve got access to a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desk top, there’s various forms of technology that can help you connect with others. Studying with others can act as a motivator, especially if you

How can students develop their digital skills during the coronavirus crisis?

  • Learn by helping others – helping out your older relatives to set up and connect via menthods such as WhatsApp and FaceTime is a good way to practice soft skills like - giving instructions and problem solving.

Can you direct students to any resources or platforms to support careers development during this time



Who are Severn Trent?

Severn Trent is the UK’s second biggest water company.  It serves 4.1m homes and business customers in and around the Midlands. Its region stretches from the Welsh borders to Rutland and from the outskirts of Sheffield south to the Bristol Channel and east to the Humber. The company delivers almost two billion litres of water every day through 46,000km of pipes. A further 94,000km of sewer pipes take wastewater away to almost 1,000 sewage treatment works.

Severn Trent offers two apprenticeship schemes to school and college leavers - Tanker Driver and Assistant Water Network Technician. Read more here.

Lead image by Makyzz via Freepik



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