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Lockdown reminders

Lockdown reminders

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I expected some of the positives that have come with working from home. For years I’ve used my lengthy commute as an excuse, and I guess now have had to prove it!

  • I’ve lost almost 50lb through having the time and facilities to eat well
  • Many of the symptoms of my health condition are reduced, some have even gone away
  • I am getting on better with my mother-in-law (who lives with us) because we speak properly rather than her getting on my last nerve when I walk in the door after work
  • I have dedicated more time to supporting community projects
  • I’ve started using an organic / sustainable food delivery service (who only deliver on Thursday mornings)
  • I have tried new hobbies and skills, including Italian lessons

And my house has never been cleaner! Despite the game my family seems to be playing, where points are scored by depositing whatever they happen to be holding on whatever surfaces I most recently cleaned.

What I did not expect, though, was that when we all moved to remote working, I would become closer to my colleagues. I’ve even discovered a few colleagues I didn’t know I had!

In the office, we tend to speak to a small group of people. And then, much of the conversation is work related. In some ways, lockdown has been unique here. I work from home three days a week, but I have a busy social life and don’t feel isolated. With social lives on hold, as well as office interactions removed, I’ve been glad of some human contact when the phone rings! As a result, I’ve spent more time just having a natter with colleagues, asking them what they’re up to, learning about what their home life is like, what their hobbies are, what hidden talents they have.

I’ve found out that one of my colleagues is a very talented painter, and another has the most gorgeous horses. I found out about one colleague’s marvellously ‘extra’ mum who has some brilliant entertainment ideas, have laughed about children’s antics, and got to see some pictures of very cute pets!  Equally, I’ve listened to some of my colleagues open up about the struggles they’ve faced during lockdown, and have gained a new respect for them through the strength and courage they have shown in rising to those challenges.

And this hasn’t only been true for colleagues; I’ve got to know some of my clients and providers on a more human level, and I think that by connecting as humans, we are all kinder to each other. I’ve noticed increased tolerance and patience towards others, and a greater understanding of the fact we are all just people trying to do a good job, muddle through life, and feel good about ourselves at the end of each day.

Working from home has also been difficult, for some people. This has not been a perfect situation, and I know some people just cannot wait for it to end, understandably. But I think all of us will come out of this as more compassionate people, and I’ve always believed that compassion goes a long way, both personally and professionally.

If I take anything out of lockdown, it will be to slow down more.

I’m going to take the time to genuinely listen. I’m going to ask questions. I’m going to answer the phone as somebody who has all the time in the world for the person on the other end – not somebody who is harassed and frazzled (and if I feel that way, I’ll take three deep breaths before I answer the call). I am going to remember that every client, and every colleague, is just another person like me who is asking for my help because like me, they get confused, they feel uncertain, and they are just out here doing their best.

I am grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to get to connect with some inspirational, kind, and good humoured people, and for Buck to truly feel like family to me. I cannot wait to see everybody again.

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