5 reviews
16:04 13 Mar 23
Highly recommended! Josh and Sarah have been fantastic at Astute. They've found and placed me in 2 jobs now between them, both really responsive and excellent at keeping you up to speed with things. Very knowledgable about the roles and happy to talk to companies with any queries you have.
C R.C R.
10:45 27 Jan 23
Great agency one of the best ones I've worked with! Liz has been a great help and support in helping me towards a new direction in my career life. She is very attentive and keeps me in the loop at all times! She makes the extra effort to work with my preferred requirements for work and even if it isn't completely attainable she meets me in the middle and does as much as she can to help! Also Liz is very funny might I add 😂 and I'm happy that I can now put a face to the name after all these years! Thank you again Liz for all your help and support! 😊
10:32 20 Dec 22
Josh and the Astute team was very swift to help me to find roles that matched my profile. They are really reliable and will help through every step of the recruitment process going out of their way to assist and follow up when needed. Could not find a better recruitment agency!
Helen PinegarHelen Pinegar
16:19 18 Dec 22
Fantastic recruitment agency.. Josh was extremely enthusiastic, encouraging and clearly knowledgeable about what was needed from both the employee and the employers point of view. Extremely supportive especially in regards to interview preparation and endeavoured to procure feedback promptly. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Astute in the future to both candidates and recruiting businesses particularly for the right fit for the role!!!
Lisa LeighLisa Leigh
11:56 30 Nov 22
I have worked as a candidate for Astute and they have been excellent. Super friendly service and professional agents keen to fit the right person to the right job. It has been a pleasure dealing with them and I would happily work for them again in the future. Highly recommend this agency.
Contact us
Suite 1, Ground Floor West,Cardinal Square,10 Nottingham Road,Derby. DE1 3QT
Stanford House,19 Castle Gate, Nottingham, NG1 7AQ

Its OK to talk about mental health at work

The University of Derby has invited Midlands businesses to sign up to
employee mental health support scheme, and we are taking part too!

Businesses across the Midlands are being offered the chance to boost productivity by working with the University of Derby to provide better mental health support for employees and here at Astute Recruitment Ltd – we are delighted to announce that we will be using this vital and important service for our team.


The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot will see the implementation of new workplace interventions at pilot organisations and the rollout of existing approaches in small, medium and large businesses across the Midlands Engine region.


The programme aims to:

  • contribute to the reduction of mental health distress
  • break down the barriers to accessing care faced by people experiencing mental illness
  • support their continuation in and return to work
  • make a positive contribution to organisational productivity, in terms of wellbeing and economic outcomes

Dr Paula Holt, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health and Social Care at the University of Derby, said: “The cost to the economy of mental health across the Midlands could be in excess of £45bn this year. Yet research shows that for every £1 invested in supporting the mental health of employees, the return to the employer in productivity is £5. Those returns are greater still when employers take preventative, rather than reactive, steps to help their staff.”

Around 1,900 employers took part in the first phase of project, exploring the issues of how mental health and wellbeing are currently dealt with in the workplace and its impact on performance.

Around a third of those taking part reported sickness absence among staff due to mental health issues, and a similar proportion recorded presenteeism, particularly in the hospitality and business services sectors.

Factors negatively affecting mental health of employees include: –

  • Lone or remote working
  • Client expectations on time, quality and cost
  • Job insecurity
  • Recruitment practices

Dr Holt added: “A healthy and inclusive workplace is essential for all businesses, so providing  appropriate support for employees, creating a culture of openness and tackling discrimination and stigma, will help to remove some of the barriers to growth and development for firms.

“The research we have carried out shows that employers recognise that understanding how to address mental health issues effectively can boost morale, engagement and motivation, but also reveals that they are not always sure where to obtain the help they need.”

The pilot will link employers directly to initiatives such as Every Mind Matters, This is Me and Mental Health First Aid, which all provide expert guidance. Once embedded into an organisation, the guidance aims to help reduce the prevalence of mental health difficulties and increase productivity among the workforce.

The University is now offering businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Stoke and Staffordshire, Shrewsbury and Shropshire, and Herefordshire the opportunity to work with them integrate effective mental health provision into their organisation.

Training courses which not only help to raise awareness but could be used to support continuing professional development (CPD) are also available.

Businesses taking part will be asked to commit to an initial meeting to discuss how the programme would work for their company, creating a roadmap for its success, and promoting their commitment to the pilot in the workplace.

To find out more about the pilot, visit the MHPP website: https://www.derby.ac.uk/business-services/midlands-engine-mental-health-and-productivity-pilot/

Why Mental Health Matters


Why mental health matters now, more than ever


We all have mental health, and just like physical health, this can fluctuate throughout our lives. If we cast our minds back to life before the pandemic, 1 in 6 UK workers are affected by mental health each year (Deloitte Research, 2020). Stress, depression, and anxiety account for almost half of working days lost.

With new stressors, including health anxieties, social anxieties, returning to the workplace, bereavement, pressures of caring responsibilities and other challenges brought about by the pandemic, there has never been a more important time to prioritise mental health and wellbeing.

There is so much information out there around mental health that Astute Recruitment have worked with the University of Derby and the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot, to pull together tips and resource that you may find beneficial.



Talk about your feelings – these are valid and by acknowledging them you can take control and use a variety of techniques. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.

Keep active – Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.

Eat well – Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.

Drink Sensibly- We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.

Keep in touch -There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!

Ask for help – None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear.


Take a break! 

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.


Do something you’re good at.

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.


Accept who you are.

We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

Some websites / apps you might find useful : –

Every Mind Matters Get Your Mind Plan – Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Every Mind Matters offers a range of useful resources including information on signs of common mental health issues, practical self-care tips, and where to seek further support. It has a free NHS-approved online tool which will help you build a self-care action plan to deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, improve your sleep and help you feel more in control. Complete the Mind Quiz to get free resources, tools, information and signposting to help manage your mental health

Zen Buddy App

The Zen Buddy App offers support to individuals struggling with mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress, as well as preventing mental health problems and post-treatment condition management. Whether it’s struggling to concentrate on work tasks due to the intrusive sadness/depression from having had a close bereavement; managing excessive demands/anxiety/stress, juggling work and home life, owing to the individual’s lack of assertiveness skills; or feeling under-valued and not having the respect of colleagues due to lacking emotional intelligence, Zen Buddy brings skills and techniques to your fingertips, and is ready to spring into action and help your workforce achieve positive mental health.

Anyone interested in signing up for the app, please email: [email protected]

Mental Health Charity MIND Home | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems

The MIND website has a wealth of information around managing your own mental health, supporting others, guides and resources, and accessing support services local to you.


Interested in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of your workforce?

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (www.mhpp.me) is funded by the Midlands Engine, offering businesses of any size and sector free support and guidance around enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce.

The programme aims to:

  • contribute to the reduction of mental health distress
  • break down the barriers to accessing care faced by people experiencing mental illness
  • support their continuation in, and return to, work
  • make a positive contribution to organisational productivity, in terms of wellbeing and economic outcomes

The University of Derby are supporting businesses across the D2N2, Stoke and Staffs, and the Marches by rolling out by working closely with key individuals within the business to ensure they have the confidence to open-up conversations around mental health, the training and resources to enable them to effectively signpost staff and strategies to enhance the culture within their organisation, ensuring it is a supportive environment for staff to open up about mental health.

If you are interested in hearing more, please complete the enquiry form on our landing page: –


And always remember, its OK to talk about mental health at work.

Someone is there to listen to you.




Time is an equal opportunities employer“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”

Denis Waitley


We hope you didn’t forget to pop your clocks forward an hour too!


But this set us thinking. How do you truly value your time? AND can this influence your levels of life satisfaction and levels of happiness.


The pandemic has carved up our usual lives, routines, working days and so, so much more. The enforced lockdowns reducing our world down to a microcosm within our homes.

Breaking normality.

Challenging our sanity.


Now, with renewed optimism, many cautiously turn their minds to regaining control of their lives, careers, and routines.

But, we cannot turn back the clock.

The last 12 months have left an indelible marker on our innermost thoughts and desires.

From many conversations, candidates from credit control to Finance Director, confirm their views on what really matters in their search for a new job has shifted.


The company car?

The snazzy office?

The potential promotion?


These don’t factor anywhere near as highly post pandemic. Instead, potential employees and job seekers value the currency of time above all else.

Work life balance, and genuine flexibility from a future employer are cited with increasing frequency as the most desirable attributes an employer can offer.


This is not to be confused with laziness or sloth. Infact, research has flagged again and again that increased employer engagement yields greater productivity.


So what can employers and business owners do?

Answer: Reaffirm your people value proposition and brand.

  • Culture Counts
  • Being valued matters
  • Ethical Employers with a strong moral compass

Its as though the isolation of the last 12 months has made many people re-evaluate what is really important, and money, prestige, have fallen away to be replaced by more holistic values – especially time.

As businesses look to return to the office, it becomes even more key to ensure that protecting staff retention rates and top candidate attraction are front and centre of company strategy. This can be done by looking at the most valuable commodity to everyone of us at work and in life – the commodity of time.


Many of us value time differently because we each experience time in different ways. Some people believe they have enough time; others feel as though they’re being chased by the clock.


The question is, where are YOU on the spectrum? Time starved? An abundance of time at your disposal or somewhere in between?


It’s important that you consider this question because your experience of time dictates how you manage your day, your work, your life, even your finances.


We all have the same amount of time each day. So, what’s the difference between time deprivation and having an abundance of time?


The short answer: –

How you think about yourself in relation to time dictates how you value your time. Its also a precursor to happiness and contentment with life.


The Flow of Time

What makes the passage of time so challenging and individual in its passing, is that it’s both concrete and abstract at the same time. We watch the minutes on a clock face tick by on a very real clock. Even so, we measure time according to “zones.” And, depending on your circumstance, time can seem to move either fast or slow.


If you’re late for work, a red light can seem like hours, but if you’re scrolling through zillions of work emails, that same light can feel like it changed in a split second. The phrase “a watched kettle never boils” is so true. Time seems to slow right down when you are waiting for something to happen.


To complicate matters further, research tells us that people experience time differently based on their stage of development. Think of the repeated question every young child asks a parent on a car journey: “Are we nearly there yet?” For that child, a half-hour trip can seem like days. Some scientists state that conceptually, human beings live most of their lives by the time they reach 18 years old. This is because time seems to pass more slowly to a child than to an adult. As we age, the years appear to pass faster and faster. When in actuality – time of course has not sped up at all. Our concept of the passage of time has merely shifted.


Lets look at some interesting points around ‘Time Poor’ vs ‘Time Rich’


Here’s What Time Rich Looks Like: – 

For the people who live in scarcity of time, the distinctions are fairly obvious. They always feel as though they’re being chased by time. There’s never enough time to do the things they want to do; they are frustrated and overwhelmed. Often at work, they will be creating extra anxiety over their perceived lack of time to get work tasks completed.

If you score highly as being time rich, there are subtle differences to those who are time-poor.

From an assessment by The Money Meter, their results suggested two groups of individuals in the time-rich category. Let’s talk about these two groups as the Blue and Green Groups.


The Blue Zone: Moderately Time Rich

People who are scoring in the moderate zone of time abundance, state that they experience less anxiety, stress, and fewer negative emotions about time than those who are time-poor because they view time as neutral.


Yes, time is transitory, fleeting, a precious commodity, and it should therefore be managed well. However, this group experiences time as a continuum that marks the passing of events.


People in the Blue Group appreciate flexibility and having control over their own time. They are deliberate and intentional in creating time for family and relaxation, and they pride themselves on how well they “manage” their daily timetable & work schedules.


Precisely because they appreciate, rather than fear, the fleeting sense of time, the people in the Blue Group are often more energised and focused. They tend to experience a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of each working day.


Whilst keen on making time for family and loved ones, they are more focused on time from a task orientation perspective than they are from a relational one. Time with family, for example, may only happen when their ‘work’ is completed.

No room for sentiment – thats just what has to happen for them.

Responsibility and control are key elements for how people in the Blue Zone value time. For people in this group. their realisation is that “Time is fleeting. I should manage it well!”

In short, they firmly believe they have control over their time.

They take pride in themselves in their ability to prioritise work/ jobs, and they enjoy a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.



Then we have the Green Group representing those who are highly time rich.

People who score as ‘highly time rich’,  seem to believe that they have enough time to accomplish whatever they want, whenever they want. They view time as precious and go beyond “managing it” to using it astutely.


Wise use of time means that they live from a sense of joy, appreciation, and freedom. They are present in the moment and therefore better able to respond to changing timetables or altered meeting times in more spontaneous ways.


Because of this high level of flexibility, the Green crowd lives a more balanced life. Family activities are not tasks to check off a list. Family is first—not an interruption.

For people in this category, there is always time to do the “important things” in life.


Perhaps the biggest differentiator between these two groups is that the green group has a deep desire to make every moment count. They value time in terms of relationships over task orientation. Making memories is important; they don’t want to be known as workaholics or taskmasters.


Major Theme: Time is precious. I should use every moment wisely.


Research has been inconclusive to tell if this highly time-rich perspective on time occurs with age and the passing of time or after a life-threatening loss or illness.


Either way, it’s a perspective worth considering in a world held hostage by the increasing demands of work, social media, mobile phones, and the expectation of being available at a moment’s notice.


As a call to action, examine your perspective on time.


Every one of us, every single moment of every single day, experiences huge pulls on our time. Our daily demands are great. It can be hard to set firm boundaries between work, family, and very importantly yourself.

Time for you!

What this research and many other investigations flag, is that those who value time and appreciate its transience, are the ones most likely to achieve a happier, more satisfying work/ life balance.


Now that’s something we could all do with!



Mary Maguire

Managing Director
Astute | Accountancy & Finance | HR | Office Support

Suite One, Ground Floor West, Cardinal Square, 10 Nottingham Road, Derby, DE1 3QT

T: 01332 346100
M: 07717 412911

E:  [email protected]

W: www.astuterecruitment.com

LI:  https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mary-maguire/18/73/553

LI: www.linkedin.com/company/astute-recruitment/



Now the nights are drawing in how to keep your fitness on track? Local, Derby owner of Santinos Gym, Kim Santino shares some expert tips
Now the nights are drawing in how to keep your fitness on track? Local, Derby owner of Santinos Gym, Kim Santino shares some expert tips







Now the nights are drawing in, how to keep your fitness on track? Now more than ever it is key for everyone to try and maintain their fitness levels. Our MD, Mary Maguire, discussed this very point with local, Derby Gym owner and multi-award-winning Body Builder, Kim Santino. Hence this collaborative and useful article was put together.


Over to Kim telling us more about his gym and the amazing contribution his Boxing Academy makes to support young people in our communities around Derbyshire.


“I’m Kim Santino, I’m 61 years young and a competitive bodybuilder.

I am very proud of my Gym, Santino’s Gym and Studio in Derby, which we opened just 4 years ago. Yes, its hard work and very long hours but it is so rewarding!

Each piece of equipment was hand-picked to hit every body part from all angles and installed lots of cardio machines in the Studio for that all-important heart-pumping exercise. Adding our Boxing clubs was the icing on the cake. Our Boxing Circuits are a killer, well not literally 😊, but it’s the Boxing Academy we are particularly proud of. It supports young people in the community, giving them the mindset and confidence to stand up to bullies and the discipline and focus to avoid bullying behaviour.

Many years ago, I ran Karate Schools and achieved 3rd Dan Black Belt status but the desire to put on a little weight to enhance my performance led me to join a Gym.

I found my strength improved week on week and along with that, my confidence too.  Continuing with both, however, would have been counterproductive so had to focus on just one and decided to see where bodybuilding would lead me.

Of my many Bodybuilding titles, gained over 3x decades, I am most proud of the ones I achieved in 2019 as I became Mr Universe, Masters Champion, Mr World Masters Champion and Mr Britain Masters Champion.

At the Gym, I’m on hand to give advice, to lend a hand with training and love, more than anything else, to see someone really making a difference to their life!

We have so many amazing transformation stories and are so proud of what our members have achieved over the years at Santino’s.

‘Santino’s Gym, a Friendly Gym with a Hard-working Ethic’.


“How to keep your fitness on track now the nights are drawing in” – Kim’s top tips

1.       Training:

The Winter months are upon us and I have always tried to impress upon people that it is so important to train hard at this time of year.

After all, Summer bodies are actually made in Winter!  What better way to make sure you get out of the house, keep fit and healthy, socialise, and make the most of those short dark days? So many gains can be made; so many improvements, all ready to hit that beach or attend that special occasion in the New Year looking and, above all, feeling your very best.

2.       Food:

Its very tempting to fill yourself up with carbs during the cold months. We certainly seem to crave them in cold weather! We all love a hearty meal, whether it be cottage pie, a hot steaming stew or lasagne, but be sure to burn off the carbs you had earlier on in the day and to reduce carb intake later on when you are about to snuggle up at home.

Remember to eat a balanced, healthy diet to make sure you are taking in a good source of vitamins and minerals but take supplements too to boost your immune system.

Kim’s key takeaway!

Consistency is key and remember, that it is not just the hour in the Gym but what you do during the other 23 hours that counts too.

If you would like to find out more about a great, local, and truly friendly gym, you can visit Kim’s website for Santinos Gym clicking HERE.


Mary and Kim will be putting together other tips and information around keeping fit and healthy in the coming months, including how Mental Health is inextricably linked to our physical wellbeing.

What next for people, business and jobs? An article by Mary Maguire, MD of Astute Recruitment Ltd









An article by Mary Maguire, MD, Astute Recruitment Ltd

Everyone everywhere has been touched, affected and humbled by the unfolding events. From Miami to Mumbai, from Derby to Damascus.


Politicians, scientists, and medical experts update us daily on our national progress ‘beating the curve’, what steps we need to take to protect our amazing NHS and sadly how many have succumbed. But, what next?


What is key to businesses, workers, Recruiters, and MDs is when can we get back to work? What will work look like? Will I be able to find a new job? How will my business survive? How can I feed my family/ pay my mortgage without an income?


It’s natural and normal to feel anxiety, alarm, and stress on what is going on around us now. I feel it. Everyone does.


Thats an entirely normal reaction. But it isn’t very constructive or inspiring or healthy to constantly dwell on the news feeds. Lets not focus on what’s happened, instead, what can we do? What does the future hold?


We need to view our working futures and embrace a bold, new tomorrow. Learn from remote working, digest how much can be done by workers at home.


What can help everyone is thinking ahead.

Imagine what the new normal will be.

In your mind’s eye, visualise you/ your business / your team working again. What could that look like?


I’ll help.


First, companies and business owners.


It will be a completely different business climate compared to just a few, short months ago. Many companies and businesses were doing well, looking to expand, take up larger offices, increase the number of employees.


Others were having some difficulties but just about coping, having just enough ‘in the bank’. For many, there was no contingency, no ‘rainy day’ cash for unforeseen situations. And my goodness, this needed a Noah’s Ark of a contingency!


As we come out of this, working restrictions will slowly be lifted. Antigen tests will enable employers, employees and people everywhere to finally understand if they have/ hadn’t had ‘it’ or if they are immune. As this gets rolled out, companies will have to maintain social distancing, but teams will be able to go back to work on a phased return. Many of them. All of them in time.


Employers will need to keep ahead of changes to employment contracts to cover working from home. Businesses will need to ensure the relevant insurance covers are in place to cover remote workers. HR experts like


Overhangs in business will mean remote working is a ‘thing’. If nothing else, the myriad companies who have initiated, innovated IT enabling their employees, where possible, to work from home, can see that this flexible option can work, and work well. Presenteeism should finally be killed off.


Companies will benefit from a genuinely mobile, flexible workforce. Ongoing rotas with team meetings but with the flexibility to accommodate those who need to be at home, won’t be frowned upon. Their bosses and work colleagues will know they are busy doing their jobs and are working hard in their offices at home. This is also an opportunity, as an employer, to show your staff you care, are fair and decent. If you can do this, your staff will never forget this and you will build the strongest bonds of loyalty in your workforce and retain talent.


Show your business cares about your employees. Having the empathy and time to understand the personal dilemmas faced by your staff, showing them you are there to support them psychologically and practically are key.


Ensure your balance sheet has some ‘give’, look to build trust with your suppliers, debtors and clients. Ensure protocols are in place if lockdown procedures have to come back. Preparedness and contingency planning will be essential. You need to be totally aligned with your Financial Director / Financial Controller and Senior Management team. Scrutinise your credit control processes. This is also an opportunity to build lasting relationships too with your suppliers by having proper negotiations on payment terms and perhaps temporary measures. Help your suppliers to help you.


Ensure your customers KNOW you are still in business. This is a biggie. Use great local businesses like Mark Saxby, at Derby’s Status Social to professionally keep your brand alive, online and seen by potential clients and customers.


Create useful, impactful content but always be mindful not to appear arrogant, ignorant and ill-tuned to businesses and people currently having a very hard time. Have opinions by all means, but you need to make sure not to damage your brand inadvertently.


Unsure about content creation? Organisations including East Midland’s Love Business, East Midlands Chamber, Marketing Derby  are experts in business and can put you in touch with marketing content writers, often local businesses in your local area. Remember, you need to try and ensure your customers know you exist and are ready to help them when they need your service. You need to keep your brand and team alive and in the thoughts of your potential, target customers while the lockdown continues and consistently after the lockdown starts to be lifted. Now is not the time to furlough your marketing team.


Take heart too. The demands for services, retailers, manufacturers, builders, engineers and suppliers WILL return. So those companies that have used the Government’s support mechanisms and been able to utilise their accountants and credit control teams to bolster cash, WILL be in demand.


The dreaded B word, ‘Banks’Many, many business owners, Financial Directors, CFOs and MDs have said that the Banks continue to be very nervous about lending and not as helpful as the government or the business community would like. Some much more friendly banks to approach who appear to be much more helpful are HSBC, Allied Irish Bank and Natwest.


What about employees?

Workers are beginning to realise to know just how big a seismic shift economically, socially and psychologically has been created. There is no magic bullet to get us back to where we were before. Instead, online communications via Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom will be key. If you haven’t already used one of these, check them out. This will be a much greater part of our working world as we move forward.


Create a household timetable. Set alarms to ping for regular breaks from work. Many, many people I’ve spoken to have struggled to work on their own and have found themselves working 4 or 5 hours without a rest. No usual office distractions are great to create focus to get projects and key work done, but it’s not healthy mentally or productivity-wise to soldier on without regular breaks.


Exercise, take a walk, a yoga workout will all help. Exercise releases endorphins, magical feel-good hormones that will sustain energy levels and make you feel better.


Set regular bedtimes for everyone in the household and regular waking up times.

One good tip I read was how making kids wear school uniforms whilst doing their schoolwork and, adults wearing more formal office attire, triggers recognition in the brain and sets the frame for ‘work time’. This hasn’t worked in my case- I’m rocking the jeans and t-shirt look! I do other things though. I have my designated ‘desks’ in the house for working and stick to them. One is in my bedroom, one is at my kitchen table and the other is the front room sofa when I’m writing articles or compiling marketing early in the mornings before the rest of my household awakens. The point? Have set, defined ‘work areas’ so that psychologically your brain shifts into ‘I’m in work mode now’.


Eat well, Eat healthily. This is a biggie. Working from home can create a lot of temptations to ‘nibble’ and ‘just pick’ at snacks constantly. I have a rule in our house – no food upstairs. So, when I’m ‘hotdesking’ in my bedroom, I’m not tempted to constantly graze on munchies. Everyone needs a treat- just keep to regular mealtimes and regular times to have that choccie bar. Try and create meals from scratch. Frozen vegetables actually have more nutrients than fresh. You can freeze soups freshly made to have the next few days.


Um, alcohol. Yes, we should eat well and not drink ourselves silly either. A healthy way of having a little of what you fancy is fine. Try and build 2 or 3 alcohol-free days during the week. Another tip is to only have a drink at regular times. For me, this is usually at 10pm when the kids are asleep! Little known fact: During the lockdown, a number of people have managed to use this as an opportunity to continue their ‘dry January’ and improve their overall wellbeing at the same time.


The point is, having routines is essential to build healthy habits that become more natural. A new habit takes just 28 days to form so some of us will only have another 1 or 2 weeks and this will begin to feel oddly part of our daily routine. If something feels more ‘normal’ in turn this can help lessen anxiety and worry.


What about my sector – Recruitment?

For my sector, recruitment, business will continue with relative ease. Our clients and team are already conducting interviews of candidates online instead of face to face and this trend looks to continue. My team and I have been using Skype and other apps for some time as a natural part of the recruitment process to help clients and candidates. This will just continue to grow. Meetings with clients will be easier and quicker to book virtually online.

Saving fuel costs.

Saving time.

Saving the environment.


The key for recruitment businesses and companies across the board, will be ensuring internal infrastructure, IT, training are all strong, faultless and as seemless as possible. Consultants need to become more and more comfortable being ‘on-screen’. That goes for employees in all offices. Online, real-time, on-time training and support, needs to be available to consultants and resourcers as and when they need support.


And what of the unemployed? What of the companies that sadly couldn’t survive?

I myself was made redundant in 2009. The gutwrenching, knife twisting agony of job insecurity I understand all too well.


But know this. When the lockdown is phased to gradually open up, there will be opportunities for businesses to be reborn and for those not working to find jobs. It may take some time, but there are great, positive steps you can take to speed up your search for a new job or business opportunity.


If you are unemployed, furloughed or feeling uncertain, there is no harm reaching out to trusted recruiters who have helped you before. But be discerning. Use the people who know you as a person, not just another candidate. Contact the companies that have been busy putting positive, useful, thoughtful content ‘out there’. These are the contacts and connections that will have your genuine, best interests at heart.


Be more active on LinkedIn or set yourself up on LinkedIn if you aren’t already. This is the proper reason why LinkedIn was set up. To allow connections with other business and career professionals to work and help each other, forge new relationships and new opportunities.


Above all, try and be positive.


Talk to trusted friends, work colleagues, and business professionals. Keep connected.


And, most importantly, even if you are on your own, know you are not alone.


If you feel things getting on top of you, reach out. Ring a friend, colleague, family – never feel embarrassed about feeling anxious. They will probably be feeling similar anxiety and be equally grateful to share some experiences.


Human beings are natural, social creatures. Our mental health suffers when we are in isolation and on our own. Talking to one another is one key antidote to dark feelings.


We are all in this together, and together we will survive.


Our next business event will be focussing on ways to cope working from home. We will be looking at how to harness your positivity, maintain energy levels and keep motivated when working remotely. We will be announcing details very soon and have a brilliant guest speaker lined up!


If anyone would like more information on any of the points covered in this article and would like a confidential chat, you are welcome to reach me through LinkedIn, email or simply call me on my mobile 07717 412 911. Alternatively, if you have any ideas for articles or information you would like us to put together – let me know!

Be Safe,

Be Well,

Be Astute.

An article by Mary Maguire, MD, Astute Recruitment Ltd

Supporting people and business.



10th of the 10th – World Mental Health Day – What does that mean to you?
10th of the 10th – World Mental Health Day – What does that mean to you?

10th of the 10th  – World Mental Health Day – What does that mean to you?

Mental health is no friend of age, race, creed or colour.

It does not discriminate between male and female.

It does not care if you are rich or poor.

But you or I should.

Look around your office. If you have a team of 4+ staff, on average, one of you will be affected by Mental Health.

Those are the hard facts.

So, don’t dismiss the 10th of the 10th.

Instead think about your work colleagues, friends, family and neighbours. Think about whether a friendly word, smile, some small act of re-assurance or a kindly deed could just make that all important difference to someone not in your sphere of happiness.

That’s what World Mental Health Day is about, and what every single day is about too.

I hope this article resonates with some of you reading this and if even a few are motivated to make a difference, no matter how small, to someone, the 10th of the 10th will be worthwhile. If you are someone who is affected by Mental Health – hopefully, these few words will sustain, encourage and give you the confidence to know you are not alone and there ARE people who care.

Just one of the many charities specialising in Mental Health is https://www.mqmentalhealth.org/ where you can find out more about the issues and how these can be overcome.


By Mary Maguire

MD – Astute Recruitment Ltd