It has been a long month since the lockdown was enforced in Guernsey, here is a diary entry from all our staff on how they are coping one-month in.
So I’ve now been working from home with my 8 year old daughter, the dog and cat for nearly 6 weeks now as my daughter had to finish school a bit earlier. Time has a very different feel to it, and it seems like it’s been so long that I can barely remember a ‘before’ now! We’ve managed to get into a pretty good routine, albeit rather flexible as running a business from home, home schooling and parenting a child has to be. Thankfully my fellow directors also have young children so are very understanding and we all feel each other’s pain sometimes! It also means our Team chats with the rest of our fantastic work colleagues can get a bit interesting as children and animals make a regular appearance. I’ve been pleasantly surprised though at how efficient and productive working from home can be, thanks to the fantastic technology available these days, and I don’t miss the old morning rush getting us both ready for school and work and the busy commute into town. I do miss my wonderful ‘day family’ at the office and seeing their faces every day, and my daughter and I have been obsessing about having fish and chips on the beach again! It will taste all the more delicious when we finally do!
Three weeks into returning to work after Maternity leave who knew I would be working at home with my family in tow! I did secretly want more time with my baby but perhaps not the experience of caring for a 3-year-old and 7-month-old (oh and not forgetting my 36 year old aka husband!) at the same time as working. Needless to say, working 9-5 has gone totally out of the window. I am now logging on from anywhere from 7:30am until 10:30pm!
Whilst at times the experience is testing to say the least with both my husband and I battling over whose working and whose turn it is to next look after the girls I am taking away some positives and ponder on what if we don’t go back and create our new normal? Will it include the 2 hours daily exercise, how little I have used my car thus helping the environment as well as can we make do with the food we have in the house rather than going to the shops therefore reducing waste. Will it include for others home working?
One thing that has been seemingly effortless in the whole process is how we were able to pick up our laptops leave the office and work from home. And while we sometimes curse technology thank goodness our systems were cloud based and set up so we could carry on with business as usual. As well as working from home we also had a great social quiz over video conferencing. So even though we aren’t seeing the team daily in the office we are making sure we stay in touch via whatsapp, messenger, emails and video.
I have now been working from home for 5 weeks, we’ve made it this far woo! My hair and skin are definitely in better condition than before lockdown so there is definitely a silver lining to this situation, and definitely a plus side to being able to wear a dressing gown and face mask whilst emailing! I am worried about how uncomfortable non elasticated waist clothing is going to be when we all go back to work though! I am missing my colleagues gorgeous faces and constant giggles we have and of course missing my friends and family and craving a Hook takeaway! We’ve made it this far and I have no doubt we will get through this and come out the other side! Time to focus on positive thoughts, facetiming and chocolate
As with everything in life (I find), there are normally positives and negatives to any situation. Concentrating first on the positives, my day is lovely and quiet giving me the ability to concentrate fully on the task in hand. I still get up fairly early each day which gives me a good deal of time to do whatever I feel like doing before starting work, such as going out for a walk or run, watching tv/reading a book or doing household chores before getting in the shower. (And of course there has been the occasional morning when I have only just managed to ‘put on dressing gown and move body to desk’) 😊. Mostly the only day I wear makeup now is on a Thursday when we have a team call, not a positive for my husband who has to look at my face but definitely a positive for my skin! Negatives are mostly around just missing the opportunity to sit and chat (and eat) with my closest family and friends, along with the occasional meltdown because of the ‘really big spider’ or ‘loads of ants’ which I don’t seem to be able to cope with at the moment (thank you husband for assisting in this area)…..
So, I am going into my 6th week of working from home even though it feels like more! It is easy to get all caught up in the sadness and frustration during this period, however I am trying to be a resilient person. To quote Carl Jung “ I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become” with this inspiring quote in mind I have decided that this is the best time to upskill. So, I am using my free time to learn something new via online courses. I hope this will help me grow as a person and help me in my professional life.
I may not be able to see the lovely faces of my colleagues in person; however, it does not stop us from having a brain storm or simply a good old natter via the use of Microsoft Teams. We have a group WhatsApp set up where we send each other funny memes. If one person is down, we all rally in to help cheer them up. I am finding it a great support network, with that in mind it has made me realise more than ever we truly do have the most compassionate Consultants who truly have candidates’ best interests at heart.
And most shockingly during this time I have found my love for Harry Styles’ latest album. Thank god I have a headset as I think it would drive my Husband up the wall as it is pretty much on repeat.
I am now on my sixth week of working from home and I somehow still can’t believe that this is reality. Though working from home was quite strange to get used to at first, I have found that I can work efficiently and carry out my normal duties; I have just had to adjust the way I would usually work with a few things and find a different way of getting the same job done. As a team, we are communicating every day about work matters just as we would usually do in the office, but now it is all done over email and an MS Teams call once a week. I always look forward to our weekly video call, as I get to see all my lovely colleagues and have a chat about what everyone has going on. We make sure to keep in contact outside of work too and always try to make each other laugh with funny messages or pictures on our WhatsApp group.
In my free time, I have been trying to get some things done around the house that I ordinarily wouldn’t have, if we weren’t in lockdown. I have also been doing all things creative, such as knitting, painting and general D.I.Y. I find this really helps lift my spirits, as I love the sense of achievement I feel when finishing a little arty project. For my daily exercise I have made a routine of going for bike rides in the fresh air around the coast on my lunch break and this always lifts my mood if I’m feeling a little fed up. When the working day is finished, I enjoy watching a good series or movie to wind down in the evening.