With a vision to address the unmet need of hypertension and a goal to launch multiple trial sites across Europe, we were approached to build entirely new teams that would be responsible for the set up, launch and maintenance of clinical trial sites in countries where the client had no existing presence. With a vision to address the unmet need of hypertension and a goal to launch multiple trial sites across Europe, we were approached to build entirely new teams that would be responsible for the set up, launch and maintenance of clinical trial sites in countries where the client had no existing presence.
At the forefront of innovation and medical device technology, this Californian-based start-up officer and alternative to surgical renal devervation for treating hypertension. With a vision to address the unmet need of hypertension and a goal to launch multiple trial sites across Europe, we were approached to build entirely new teams that would be responsible for the set up, launch and maintenance of clinical trial sites in countries where the client had no existing presence.
11 With a vision to address the unmet need of hypertension and a goal to launch multiple trial sites across Europe, we were approached to build entirely new teams that would be responsible for the set up, launch and maintenance of clinical trial sites in countries where the client had no existing presence. With a vision to address the unmet need of hypertension and a goal to launch multiple trial sites across Europe, we were approached to build entirely new teams that would be responsible for the set up, launch and maintenance of clinical trial sites in countries where the client had no existing presence.
Being a small team of less than 15, the client was looking for a partner that act as an extension of their permanent team, while using their own expertise when sourcing candidates and putting potential hires forward.
The client lacked the in-house resource to handle legalities around candidate onboarding at such a large scale. As part of our partnership, the SEC compliance team handled all right to work check, visa requirements and contractor compliance in accordance with local regulations of the size locations.
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A mental health crisis has highlighted an urgent need for new treatment options for sufferers of anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. This need has opened the door for a flourishing new sub-sector of the life science industry, and 2021 is set to bring new clinical research as major players tune in to the benefits of psychedelic medicines. In the US almost 1 in 5 people suffer from a mental health problem of some kind. In the UK this is as high as 1 in 4, and here reliance on antidepressants is close to double the level it was 10 years ago. The human brain, though, is complex and difficult to study, so uncovering the roots of a psychiatric illness to develop potential treatments isn’t easy. Coupled with the fact that a person’s diagnosis may change several times throughout their life, progress on developments of drug treatments for mental illness has been frustratingly slow when compared to traditional therapeutic areas. "Research and development in this area has been almost entirely dependent on the serendipitous discoveries of medications. From the get-go, none of it was ever based on an understanding of the pathophysiology of any of the illnesses involved."Thomas Insel, Former Director of the US Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)Research into the efficacy of psychedelics has boomed in the last decade as rates of mental health problems has risen and attitudes toward treatments have changed, and such research has yielded promising results. In the last two years the first treatments using drugs like psilocybin (the chemical compound present in magic mushrooms), ketamine and LSD have received approval in the US, EU and Canada, and are being ushered from the lab into pharmacies and therapists’ offices thanks to pioneering firms like COMPASS Pathways, Numinus and MindMed. Early Research and Application Following a successful $80m investment round during Q2 last year, London-based mental health care firm COMPASS Pathways is conducting a world-first large-scale trial into the use of psilocybin against treatment-resistant depression, which spans 20 trial sites in nine countries across the EU and US. The company received FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation back in 2018, and in February this year the biotech announced the expansion of its Discovery Centre as well as research collaborations with three world-leading psychedelic research scientists. "Our mission has always been to accelerate patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health. This is more important than ever now, with COVID-19 challenging our mental resilience. This shows that our investors recognise this urgent need for innovation in mental health and will enable us to do more research and development, bringing therapies safely to those who need them, as quickly as possible."George Goldsmith, CEO and Co-founder of COMPASS PathwaysEarlier this year Swiss-based biotech MindMed announced the start of their trial measuring and evaluating MDMA and LSD, with the goal of understanding how they could be used together to create better patient outcomes and develop more advanced psychedelic therapies. It’s not the first time LSD has been used for research into mental health treatments, but it’s the first time both have been researched when used in combination with MDMA, which is hypothesised to offset some of the known negative effects of LSD that occur in clinical settings. Another major name in the field is Canadian firm Numinus, a company with an ecosystem of healthcare solutions centred around research into psychedelic-assisted treatments. At its 7000-square-foot facility, they are cultivating and harvesting the mushrooms that produce psilocybin in order to develop standardised extraction methods, research product formations of the compound, and explore the delivery of safe and evidence-based psilocybin-assisted therapies in clinics. The Future of Mental Health Care? We need more large-scale studies involving diverse populations to learn as much as we can about the way that these treatments work. There is a lot still up in the air about the effects of psychedelics to treat mental disorders, but early trials and applications are encouraging. What we do know is that psychedelic-assisted treatments can be powerful in reducing the suffering for at least some sufferers of anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health problems. We know that the stigma around discussion of mental health has seen a positive shift recently, so it’s a welcome sign that an increasing number of life science companies are focusing their attention on research that could lead to mental health treatments that compliment or prove more effective than those currently in the mainstream healthcare system.
2020 was the most funded year in history for medical technology, beating 2019 by 55% even with the pandemic, so it’s a great time to work in the medtech and digital health fields. Here are the areas that should be on your radar if you’re considering a move into the industry. Cash often dictates the top locations for medtech and digital health more than any other indicator, and more of this is being spent in fewer, more concentrated clusters across the states. These areas bring together a mix of prestigious educational institutes and strong healthcare systems, and are home to companies that bring in millions of dollars of capital investment each year. Insights from PwC suggest that this year we can expect to see the fields of robotics, wearables, genomics and diagnostics bring in a huge amount of investment and dictate M&A agreements.San Francisco, California Owing to the 3,000+ biotech and medical device firms that call it home, the area of San Francisco, San Jose and the surrounding areas of northern California is known as Biotech Bay, and has almost 100,000 life science professionals working within its borders making an average salary of $164,123. The tech sector has long been making major advances in this area, so it’s a natural hotbed for medical technology firms too. The area leads in terms of innovation with more patents filed than anywhere else in the US, and in 2019 ranked highest for VC investment in digital health, bringing in $2.7b of capital funding.New York City, New YorkBack in 2016 NYC announced a $500m deal to establish itself as a world-leader in life science R&D, and since then has cemented itself as a global leader in bioinnovation. In neighbouring New Jersey, you’ll find major corporations such as BMS, J&J and Novartis, but NYC itself has attracted a number of digital and medtech startups in recent years. New York State is now second to California when it comes to digital health VC funding. In the first half of 2020 alone $1.5b of capital investment went to the NY digital health sector, surpassing 2019 by 25%, with the largest deals among firms dealing in healthcare analytics, telemedicine and patient engagement platforms. The number of start-ups established and headquartered here creates a huge amount of opportunity for professionals, and together with New Jersey the states rank #1 for job opportunity within the US.Boston, Massachusetts A hotbed of innovation and drug development, over 600 biotech, medtech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies call Boston and its surrounding areas home. Funding levels have shown uninterrupted growth in the last decade, and total investment to companies in the city has broken the billion-dollar threshold every year since 2013, hitting a peak of $8b in 2019. Among this list Massachusetts is the only state that showed a significant increase in the amount of VC funding to digital health firms from 2018 to 2019, with a 37% increase from $704m to $1,033m. High-calibre universities and local research institutions like Harvard, MIT and Tufts provide the city with a strong pipeline of future innovators. It’s estimated over 700,000 professionals with backgrounds in biology, biomedical sciences and engineering reside in Boston and its surrounding counties.San Diego, California With California housing 10% of the worlds’ top 100 universities, it’s unsurprising that it isn’t just northern California making its mark on the digital health and medical technology industry. Southern California, specifically San Diego but also LA and Orange County, is home to around 1,400 health technology firms. The average wage is a little lower than upstate, coming in at $127,345, but opportunity is rife with the industry employing more than 140,000 people.Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Anchored by three major universities, North Carolina State, Duke and University of North Carolina, is the region referred to as the Research Triangle. More than 500 life science firms operate in the area, and thanks to the formation of IQVIA the area is known as the birthplace of the CRO. But CROs and multinationals aren’t the only companies booming in Research Triangle; cutting-edge cell therapy companies and ground-breaking medical technology firms are examples of the type of companies that have established themselves in the area over the last decade. Innovation, education and a culture of collaboration are key drivers of the area’s success, and we can expect it become increasingly associated with cutting-edge medical technology in the coming years.Seeking your next move? Check out our latest jobs here.
Equipped with almost 40 years combined experience in life science recruitment, our new Client Services division offer a bespoke approach to staffing by responding to your business goals and unique pain points.For over 30 years we have been building companies in the global life sciences industry. From start-up and emerging biotechs to global pharma, innovative medtech and medical device companies to strategy and tech transformation consultancies; we deliver talent solutions that enable our clients to achieve their mission.It’s our ongoing commitment to providing a well-rounded and bespoke staffing solution that has led to the appointment of a dedicated Client Services Division within SEC. The Client Services team work with our partners to develop and deliver a growth strategy that’s tailored to the goals of each business. Working with our partners to gain an in-depth understanding of the organisation, the team are able to provide strategic direction when it comes to headcount and team structure, and develop an approach that ensures the best possible chance of reaching that next company milestone, whether it be a trial launch, product commercialisation, funding round or major buy-out.The division is complemented by a team of market experts focused on providing recruitment services across a variety of specialisms; discovery & development, clinical & medical, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence & biometrics, tech ops, strategy and commercial. We've been providing services in these areas for years, and look to continually develop our expertise with the changing life sciences landscape.Our Client Services teamLouis Gicquel, Client Services DirectorLouis brings over 15 years of life science staffing experience to our client services division, and has provided leadership as our sales director at SEC since 2017.Emma Hobbs, Client Services ManagerWith more than 11 years experience supporting SEC clients and a further 5 in staffing and recruitment, Emma heads up our operations in the US and provides solutions to our clients in the medtech, biotech and consultancy space.Rachael Conroy, Principal ConsultantRachael has 5 years of life science staffing and account management experience, and is responsible for providing services within the DACH region.We’re delighted to be able to service more of our partners’ needs through continual development of our solutions. Appointing a dedicated Client Services function ensures that we continue to deliver best in class service, at speed, to support the growth of our clients across the life sciences space. To understand more about how we can support your growth and provide strategic input tailored to your business, get in touch today.
The drug development path is long, complicated, and expensive. For the patients that need it most, waiting for a treatment can be agonising, and currently 95% of rare diseases lack any FDA-approved treatment. Artificial intelligence and its subfield of machine learning has the power to change this.Approval rate for drugs entering clinical development is less than 12%, and with the average cost of developing a prescription treatment sitting at $2.6 billion, those in drug development are turning to technology that detects signs that might indicate a greater likelihood of product success or approval, whilst the product is still in the discovery or R&D phase. It can take over 10 years from discovery to commercialisation of a treatment, so a huge motivator for large pharma to invest in this type of technology is the potential to shave time from this process. An oncology programme from Genentech (now a member of the Roche Group) and GNS Healthcare announced back in 2017 uses machine learning tech to covert high volumes of cancer patient data into computer models that can be used to identify new pathways, novel targets and diagnostic markers that could lead to new treatments. The benefits of utilising artificial intelligence reach far beyond just a cost or time saver for the company developing the drug. Synchronicity of real-world data and machine learning technology can shorten the amount of time it takes for a patient to receive a diagnosis and reduce the likelihood of a misdiagnosis. In medical diagnosis a patient’s symptoms are recorded, analysed, and a healthcare professional aims to determine the ailment that could be causing them. Machine learning technology can take a set of data – consisting of clinical or biological criterion of patients, any diagnoses they’ve received, and any environmental and genetic data – and match these with the data collected from a patient. The larger the data set, the more points of reference the AI will have to determine a diagnosis, and the greater the likelihood of an accurate one. One example of a firm currently using machine learning to aid diagnosis is UK-based start-up Babylon Health. Their chatbot technology compares the symptoms inputted by a user against a database of potential causes, and recommends an action based on the symptom severity, the history of the patient and other individual circumstances. In response to mild headache symptoms, the app may recommend over-the-counter medication, but if more serious symptoms are inputted, the app may suggest going directly to the hospital. This does present a limitation in that the performance and accuracy of the technology is dependent on the depth of the dataset, but it’s a promising indicator that these processes could take place without the need for human intervention, meaning patients get quicker access to the care and information they need. Machine learning is becoming more widespread, is attracting a huge amount of media attention and capital investments, and outcomes are becoming increasingly impressive. There is still a distance to cover, though, before it really hits the mainstream. Before cementing itself as a standard component in the drug development cycle, educational programmes, thorough proof-of-concept studies and data hygiene standards have to be considered. Until then, these early applications of machine learning in medicine provide glimmers of a future where data and technical innovation play a critical role in discovery and development.
We are living in the age of big data. Drug development companies are swimming in information that can inform their processes and assist them in bringing a treatment to market; but this information is no longer solely generated through clinical trials.As the cost of healthcare continues to rise and companies face pricing pressures, there comes a growing need to demonstrate the benefits of a treatment outside the regulated environment of a clinical trial. So, companies are turning to real-world data (RWD) to demonstrate the value of their product on a real-world population.What is real-world data? Any insights into a treatment gathered outside of a clinical trial setting could be a source of RWD. Health records, wearable devices, healthcare apps, patient-recorded outcomes, even insurance claims all can provide evidence to support the effectiveness of a product. As it’s captured within the healthcare system itself, against real patients rather than trial subjects, it can provide an additional dimension to observations gathered during clinical trials. Why is real-world data so important? With a deeper insight into how treatments are being used and the effects of a drug, RWD can provide regulators the information they need to assess post-market safety and produce risk/benefit analysis; key enablers for regulatory decisions and market approvals. The data can not only inform decisions made regarding commercialisation, but can help inform those involved in research and development as to the needs and requirements of a patient population. But the scale of data available does far more than help companies bring their treatments to market quicker. Importantly, it enables us to further understand the patient journey, and provides a huge opportunity for companies to improve patient outcomes. By producing RWD, patients act as integral participants in the future of their own healthcare. What does the future of real-world data look like? The sheer amount of data currently available is overwhelming; for one treatment there could be hundreds of thousands of seemingly relevant pieces of RWD, and most organisations lack the resources to effectively collect and analyse it, which is why we’re seeing larger firms invest in machine learning technology or partner with start-ups specialised in AI. We’re also seeing a rise in demand for professionals with RWD/RWE experience. Some of the larger industry players will follow in the footsteps of companies like IQVIA, in establishing and developing their own RWD capabilities and offering. We’ll see more cross-departmental collaboration, among physicians, pharmacists, statisticians and pharmacologists, as we work to discover new ways of collecting and analysing RWD. Advances in cloud-based technology, artificial intelligence, and automation could help smaller firms discover the benefits of using RWD. Providing them with more access to information about who their treatments effect, in what context, and at what price, will shorten their product pipeline and enable faster patient access. Ultimately, continued data openness will enable companies to develop forward-thinking healthcare strategies, such as personalised medicine, which can address previously unseen problems and put the patient population at the heart of treatment production. As machine learning technology also advances, we’ll see healthcare professionals be able to make faster, more accurate diagnoses through access to this real-world data, and variables that might’ve been previously overlooked will be used to inform a deeper understanding of patients’ conditions.
February 11th marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day that recognises and celebrates the critical role women play in STEM industries. Since 2015 the number of women graduating in core STEM subjects in the UK has grown from 22,000 to almost 25,000, but still females make up only 26% of those graduating in STEM subjects, and just 24% of the average STEM workforce – this figure drops to as low as 10% for some industries. Now in its sixth year, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was adopted to pave the way toward gender parity in educational opportunity within STEM and scientific participation and preparation. To celebrate this year, we’re looking at four pioneers within the life science industry that are transforming the medical landscape through leadership and technical innovation.Carolyn Yarina, CEO and Co-Founder of Sisu Global HealthWhen a patient suffers internal bleeding, surgeons have two options; reach for a blood bag, or recycle the patient’s own blood using a process called autotransfusion. In many developing countries, though, lack of access to blood banks or a lack of blood donorship might mean the surgeon doesn’t have access to a blood bag, and the technology typically used for autotransfusion is expensive and requires power – a commodity not always available in emerging markets. After founding a non-profit that supported mobile clinics in India, Carolyn went on to co-found Sisu Global Health, a company focused on the research, development and commercialisation of medical devices aimed at emerging markets. The Sisu-developed Hemafuse, a handheld medical device that replaces the need for donor blood by recycling a person’s own from internal bleeding, launched in Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana last year. Allysa Dittmar, President and Co-Founder of ClearMask With over 95% of those living with hearing loss saying masks and facial coverings impact their ability to communicate, Allysa, who has been deaf herself since birth, set out to design a transparent mask with her fellow public health students at Johns Hopkins University and co-founded ClearMask LLC. Allysa and the team at ClearMask have developed the first FDA-approved transparent face mask, allowing for the deaf and hard of hearing that would usually rely on lipreading for communication to do so clearly, without the obstruction a standard face mask would cause.Dr. Crystal Icenhour, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of Aperiomics A rising star of American biotechnology, Dr. Crystal Icenhour holds two patents, has authored and co-authored numerous scientific publications and is a prolific speaker at many scientific conferences. In 2014 she co-founded Aperiomics, a bioinformatics firm that uses advanced data analysis and next-generation sequencing technology for detecting infectious disease. Where traditional infection testing might look at one bacteria, fungus or virus at a time, DNA sequencing technology developed by Dr. Crystal’s firm can identify every known pathogen there is – that’s nearly 40,000 microorganisms – from within a single blood sample. It’s the mission of the infectious disease firm to transform infection testing, and leverage the power of technology to advance human life and quality of life. Dr. Kimberly Smith, MD, MPH, Head of R&D at ViiV Healthcare Dr. Kimberly Smith heads up research and development at the only company wholly dedicated to HIV therapies, ViiV Healthcare. During her time at ViiV Dr. Kimberly has launched more than 25 late-stage trials for seven new medicines, and is working to revolutionise the management of HIV through regimes that decrease the lifetime exposure to medicines by suffers of HIV. Since working on the frontline of the AIDS epidemic as a clinician in the 1980s, Dr. Kimberly has made it her life work to answer the unmet needs of those living with the illness, and has been a public advocate for female and PoC representation in STEM professions and in exec level roles.
More than a year has passed since Covid-19 first hit the headlines, and across the world nine vaccines have received authorisation for use in various geographies. But for firms involved in researching and trialling treatments for the virus, it isn’t job-done just yet. When it was announced that some of the major frontrunners in the race to develop a Covid-19 had succeeded in their mission, a collective sense of relief was felt, and the eyes of the public shifted from trial progress to the vaccine roll-out. But for those working in the clinical space, the priority remains with the effort to develop further treatments. With over 2,500 clinical trials in active or recruiting stage globally, opportunities for professionals in the clinical operations field are still dominated by the Covid-19 effort – particularly when it comes to the contract/freelance market.Mutated strains of the Covid-19 virus pose a potential new threat to the geographies in which they’re circulating, adding weight to the burden already felt as a result of the pandemic. These mutations emphasise the importance of the result of these ongoing trials, almost 75% of which are in phase II or phase III stage, as researchers continue to uncover the indirect or long-term effects suffered by those who have had the virus. With the US, Germany and the UK all topping the list for the highest number of ongoing vaccine studies, demand for CRAs, clinical trial managers, and site managers is high to cope with the demand on the major trial sites in those geographies. Shortly after the World Health Organisation first declared Covid-19 a global emergency and much of the world entered a lockdown, many ongoing and new clinical trials were halted to prioritise studies into the virus and continued later in the year. The ripple caused by the halting of these trials, along with the fact new Covid-19 vaccine trials are registered to begin each week, suggests that this high level of demand for clinical professionals will continue throughout 2021 and well into 2022. The length of Covid-19 trials being registered are also longer on average than we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, so we can expect the average contract length for freelancers to increase too.We can expect to see more vaccines demonstrating high efficacy in the coming months, as well as a deeper understanding of the long-term effects of Covid-19 and how to treat them or stop them from occurring. The current vaccine roll-out effort continues to progress and make headlines, but in order to advance our knowledge of the virus and its variants, clinical trials and research into treatments or preventative measures for Covid-19 will continue to progress at a high level too.
SEC Recruitment has been announced as one of Recruiter Magazine’s ‘Hot 100’ companies in the UK for 2020. The accolade is based on ranking recruitment businesses for their productivity, which is a key performance indicator used to assess businesses that are working at high levels across the recruitment industry. "We’re truly proud of our approach to the difficulties faced in 2020 and the support we've been able to provide our partners - some of whom were at the forefront of the efforts against Covid-19 themselves. The work our team has put into delivering the best possible service to our clients and candidates throughout the last 12 months is both brilliant and humbling."Wayne Marshall, Sales Director at SEC RecruitmentIt's been a truly disruptive year for the staffing industry as a whole. Analysis from this years' report suggests an unsurprising dip in performance compared to previous years, so we're especially pleased to be recognised for our performance and proud of the incredible work put in by our recruitment consultants and back-office support team.SEC comes in at number 90 this year, and is one of just 24 technical/science recruitment specialists to appear on the list, which looks at the performance of over 15,000 staffing agencies up and down the country."We're delighted that we have been included in the ‘Hot 100’ list for 2020. This year has proven that when you work hard and deliver on your company values and commitment to excellence, you can continue to deliver results even in the most adverse of climates."Louis Gicquel, Sales Director at SEC RecruitmentThanks go out to all of our customers that we have worked with throughout 2020, and to the candidates we've supported in finding their next role. We're looking forward to continuing to play a part in your success in 2021.For more information about the ‘Hot 100’ visit the Recruiter website.
In a time when engaging freelance talent is becoming increasingly attractive, does your business have a strategy when it comes to engaging contractors and maintaining a relationship?Being clued up on legislation to follow when you’re engaging freelance talent is one thing (such as the looming IR35 update, if you’re in the UK), but with contract employment on the rise in the wake of a new normal the competition when it comes to engaging talent is fierce; 79% of employers that we surveyed said they were employing the same amount or more contractors this year than they had in previous years. So with more and more businesses utilising the benefits of a freelance workforce, contract workers once competing for jobs now have multiple options when it comes to projects, and may find themselves able to cherry-pick their client pool. Therefore, it’s never been more important to introduce a process for engaging and building a relationship with your off-payroll workforce. Employer Poll: "How will the number of contractors/freelancers you work with in 2021 differ from in previous years?"Engaging contractors should look different to how you engage your employees. You should look to position yourself as a company of choice when seeking to work with freelance talent, but it’s important to remember not to treat them as an extension of your permanent workforce. For UK businesses, freelancers engaged in projects that fall outside IR35 should be handled as a business-to-business agreement. Understand that positioning yourself as a business of choice when it comes to contracting opportunities is more about your business objectives, milestones, and successes than it is about what it’s like to work for you as an employer. Your contractors don’t want to feel as though they are being treated like an employee, and failure to recognise this could affect your flow of off-payroll talent through word-of-mouth amongst disgruntled freelancers. Turn to a staffing firm for full-circle contractor care. Staffing companies can provide a crucial insight into how and where to get the best contract talent for your projects, but many businesses without the internal resource or know-how also turn to agencies to maintain a relationship with their contractor base even after a project has ended. Freelancers turn to agencies to understand the latest developments and opportunities in the industry, and trust us to provide an honest view of the contract landscape. Having these conversations every day means we’re not just in a great position to engage talent for a particular project, but to enhance our clients’ reputations on their behalf and keep their work at the forefront of the minds of leading talent. We are aware of many countries looking to challenge the statuses of independent contractors, but with over 200 contractors on-site globally, our in-house compliance team are versed in local regulations of major employment sites across Europe, the US and further afield, and are committed to ensuring compliance on behalf of our contractors and clients. Get in touch to find out more about our compliance offering.As workforces continue to become more mobile, more adaptable and more collaborative, contract talent will become increasingly embedded in business strategy. Those already engaging contractors have the chance to get ahead of the curve and strengthen the relationship with their contractor base, and those new to engaging freelancers have an opportunity to hit the ground running knowing the importance of contractor care.
Now that the pandemic has chased many of us away from our usual desks and into our bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms, we can sometimes find ourselves struggling with the weight of the new remote rules of work.Too much screen time, a lack of boundaries between work and home and endless video calls have made remote work more taxing than it was first assumed to be.We’ve experienced working from home for the best part of 2020, and we now know it requires more long-term focus and more energy than being in the office. The key to avoiding burnout when home working is learning how to maintain that energy.Pay attention to ritual and routine.None of us are missing our hour-long train journeys or only getting back home after 7pm, but as much as we hated our commute they were a ritual that separated work life and home life. Those rituals are needed to help us re-energise and focus.We’re also missing those breaks that we would build into our workday; grabbing a cup of coffee, or having a chat with a co-worker. Those rituals are where you gather your energy, and you can replicate the effects of those with similar activities from home.The key is to be intentional – it could be listening to music, doing a stretching routine, taking a brisk walk at a certain time of day. Whatever it takes for you to create a defined transition between work and home.Manage your interactions.Participating in a video call can feel a little like a performance. And seeing floating, two-dimensional depictions of your colleagues provides you none of the usual cues that help you in reading a room, understanding others and effectively communicating.A day of back-to-back meetings with just a camera in your face means you’re on stage, performing, for 8 hours a day – it can be a huge tax on your energy.In order to have balance in your day you have to sandwich the rituals and transitions in with these calls or events you might find more taxing. After a big video meeting you could schedule a small amount of downtime, ready to recharge and refocus on your next task.Think about how you naturally break up you day, consider when you’re usually on, and build your more taxing work demands around that, leaving other times for work you find a little less weighty. Create an environment that enforces boundaries.Your desk could be your dining room table, but you must make it feel like a workspace – it’s easy to take a break to fold laundry or empty the dishwasher because we’re at home, but doing so once could make it more difficult to refocus, and making it habitual creates an unhealthy blur between work and home life.Limit distractions around you during your working hours and, if you can, physically close off that workspace when the time comes to switch off for the evening.Along with many new challenges, there’s an opportunity when it comes to working from home. Instead of transferring old habits from the workplace to our homes, we have a chance to look at our processes, refine the way we work, and build something better.