The new nine-to-five: Shelley Maxwell

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Within the space of a few weeks, the nine-to-five changed completely and we want to know what yours looks like now. Each week we’ll be sharing your new daily routines.

Here Shelley Maxwell, Communications Manager for the Service Excellence Programme, explains a typical day.

Shelly and her son.

6.00am (if I’m lucky) – No need for an alarm as Sam, my five year old son is always up bright and early. Normally at this time I’d be getting ready for my daily commute from Fife, but recently, I’ve been spending the first 40 minutes of my day exercising. I’m a massive gym goer and have been finding new and slightly more creative ways of exercising from home. Including the use of tea towels! Sam usually takes this time to play on his iPad. Like many parents, the struggle in trying to prise him away from his iPad has been real, but I’ve tried to stop feeling super stressed about it. His screen time is more than I’d like but we’re both happy and healthy so I figure that’s the main thing.Exercise equipment and tea towels.

7.30am – I usually try to start working a bit earlier in the day so I can use the first couple of hours to catch up when it’s still quiet and there are no meetings or emails flying around. Right now, no two days are the same in terms of structure or routine, and that’s probably what I’m finding most tricky. Sam stays with his dad on a Monday and Tuesday which means I can work longer days. And luckily, most of my regular meetings are on these days which means I can crack on without the many “can I have a snack?” requests that I think most parents are having to currently manage.

10.00am – I typically try and manage my day in chunks, working for a chunk, then schooling for a chunk. I’ll give Sam activities to do whilst I’m working – naturally some are more successful than others. He might do some Cosmic Yoga from YouTube (which I enjoy too!) or do some arts and crafts. We made Forkies (from Toy Story 4) the other day and also some cards to post to his grandparents. He also has his snack at this time. We’ve set up a tuck shop to make this more fun – and practice counting. He gets £1 each day and can choose whatever he wants across the day until he’s spent his cash. The ‘treat’ items are naturally more expensive.Two homemade fork people.

12.00pm – I try to stick to the mealtimes Sam is used to in his usual school day. To make sure we can plan ahead and don’t have any battles about what’s on the menu, I make up a menu of choices for each day which we look at together on a Sunday. Sam picks what he’d like for lunch and dinner each day, much like he does with the school lunch menu. My thinking is that if I can keep some of the things that feel like school routine, it’ll help keep his head in the game. We usually try and go out for a walk at lunchtime too.

2.00pm – I manage a communications team and by nature of our roles, it’s important we all stay in touch regularly. We also just like a blether! We typically get together once or twice a week on Teams or Skype and speak one-to-one most days. It’s not all work stuff, we usually catch up on the social side too. The most recent convo being on the Netflix series Tiger King. I won’t give any spoilers for those who haven’t seen it but wow, just wow! Our entire programme team (approximately 100 people) get together every week for half an hour too so we can hear from our director Barry on latest news and priorities and ask any questions.

4.00pm – One of my team (Joe West) has a real knack for quizzes and since we’ve been working from home he’s been running a fortnightly ‘quarantine quiz’ for the entire programme team. It’s great fun and a really nice way to stay in touch on the social side. Although I didn’t realise my general knowledge was quite so shaky…

8.00pm – The little one is in bed by this time and it’s my time to relax. Not something I find very easy but something that the current scenario has forced me to do more of which I see as a real positive and will make sure I stick to when things are more back to normal. I’ve been learning Spanish, watching box sets (which I never do), and also learning how to do a handstand – weird I know but I’m trying to make sure I challenge my brain, and my body. I’d be a big fibber if I didn’t say I was enjoying the occasional gin and tonic too. We all need our treats 😉

What does your new nine-to-five look like? Share it with us at