The lockdown period has been a quite an unusual time for everyone.
As we start to ease back into the new normal, we thought we’d reflect on what we have learnt during this bizarre period…
“I’ve discovered that I really like gardening, and I’m also quite good at it. I think this has helped me to retain some focus over the past weeks and be content with my own company.
“Working on record keeping and database systems has been far more enjoyable without the distractions of life in an office (it is easier to see tasks through to completion).
“I have also been shocked at the amount of coffee I drink on a daily basis!”
“But I have missed my monthly trips to Scotland to see family.”
“I’ve learned that everybody works differently, and I feel like the flexibility of home working has benefited me. The ability to work a little earlier in the morning, or later at night has prevented me from feeling burned out and improved my productivity.”
“I also think the quiz nights that we’ve been having has benefited team morale and helped to us to all ‘pull in the same direction’, and the social side of work shouldn’t be underestimated.”
“In lockdown I have learnt that despite my reservations, productive working and outputs can be achieved whilst sitting at a dining room table.
“The distractions can be zoned out. Zoom, Teams and other communication platforms have become good friends and have brought many to a greater place of understanding, awareness, collaboration and friendship.
“I am proud, that in lockdown, I have enjoyed my own company and never felt lonely.
“I am ever grateful to my family and friends who have shown their love, generosity and respect for me during this prolonged period of isolation, and although couldn’t keep me company, took great care to ensure I was safe and well.
“In lockdown I had the sadness of losing a friend to the virus, which due to the detached circumstances still feels unreal.
“At the beginning of lockdown I answered the NHS clarion call and got my sewing machine out, making up and donating scrubs bags to our local hospital and face coverings to friends and colleagues.
“To date, I have made in excess of 250 items, to which my tired eyes and bad posture give testimony. In lockdown I have come to appreciate that nothing will be the same again, but for me, so much will be better.”
“Lockdown has actually increased the spirit of team working and cohesion of the team.
“Remote working means an acceptance of more flexible working as long as people are together for core meetings.
“It is hard to go from 9 to 5 remotely and anyway it isn’t necessary.
“We have found that virtual engagement with members via zoom, teams and other routes is much easier than we thought.
“I believe that a lot of meetings in the future e.g. SIGs will continue in this fashion – an example is TIMG
Normally this is quarterly and face to face lasting 2 hours.
“When you add in travelling time it probably takes 3 to 3.5 hours out of peoples diaries as many coming from seal sands or Billingham.
“However we have actually had 7 meetings during lockdown lasting only an hour each so more frequent and effective and no travel or catering either.
“Another example is the fortnightly regional cluster meeting. This is much easier online as everyone is scattered across the country and this team has also gelled well over lockdown.
“We can do bigger events online as well and will get even more experience soon. The key will be paid events.
“We also need to use technology more for scheduling one to one meetings e.g. catching up with members we haven’t seen for a while. This can be much easier online.
“I am not sure if we will need to work all the time in the office when lockdown ends – I can see a hybrid of home and office working.”
One of the main things I have learnt during the lockdown period is to appreciate my home surroundings more. During lunch breaks and after work, I tended to go on a lot of walks to break the day up and to keep active. This allowed me to explore my hometown more, and find new routes & paths. This made me realise just how lucky I am to live so close to our beautiful coastline and the stunning North Yorkshire Moors and to ultimately, make the most out of the area I live in.