Come and meet our amazing team to find out what they have to say about coming back to work after lockdown.
Most people feel apprehensive about going back to the office as your workplace will no longer be seen as ‘normal’. Your workplace must carry out a risk assessment before you return, so may have made changes based on government recommendations which of course will affect your daily routine.
How does it feel to be back in an office environment?
Joseph: It’s nice being able to see everybody again!
Jack: Strange at first. It took me about 2 weeks to get back into the swing of things. It’s still strange to be in the office. Things are the same but also so different to before. This is now the new normal and we have to try and make the best of it.
Dorian: Really good but also strange in a way. It’s the little things like not being able to use the fridge or kettle (I miss cups of tea!), and facing the wall that really drives home how different the situation continues to be.
Joe: Being back in an office environment feels strange now, it’s the little things you really notice, like sitting next to someone in your team, eating lunch together, the biggest one for me is meetings, how they are still being made over video with everyone in the same room causes a few issues with feedback and someone always being on mute.
Olivia: It definitely took a while to get used to. When you’re so used to having the same routine for months, from waking up to signing off and then your whole plan changes, it knocks the brain a little but you get used to it after a few days. It’s actually really nice to be around people and back with the team; sometimes texting your colleague for the odd simple answer would take hours because their phone might be on charge or they’re just genuinely busy when normally you could just tap them on the shoulder or shout for that matter.
How did you find working from home?
Joseph: Tricky initially, it was difficult defining a clear line between work time and me time at home but once I got myself into a routine it was fine!
Jack: It was an interesting change to my work-life balance and I learnt a lot in myself with how I manage my time. It was also a great opportunity to look at my own work process and communication with other colleagues.
Dorian: Yes fine and it was nice not having to commute. As long as you can keep your concentration (personally a quiet area is essential) then there should be no reduction in productivity.
Joe: It was a test to work from home to start with, as I wasn’t used to not having my team right next to me, but after a week of two it began to feel natural, and I’m now 100% sure if lockdown was to happen again it wouldn’t even take an hour to get back into the swing of things.
Olivia: I found working from home very settling. It was nice to be able to have that extra few minutes in bed and not worry about the commute to and from work. Plus being around my family more was a huge bonus.
Is there anything you’ll miss from working from home?
Luisa: My mum’s cooking and my dogs.
Dorian: The extra 3 ½ hours a day I got to spend with my children as I didn’t have to commute.
Joe: Of course there are little things for me like not having to spend so much time traveling into London, but more than anything I will miss seeing my daughter and getting the opportunity to put her to bed every night.
Olivia: I miss having a cup of tea every couple hours and having my lunch already made.
What have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know before?
Dorian: Not a lot to tell you the truth, although I have had a few life lessons in my time based on my advancing years!
Joe: I learnt that if I have a phone, I can work from anywhere.
Olivia: I have learnt that I hate getting the tube now more than ever before.
Have you had any technical challenges that you’ve had to face, either at home or in the office?
Dorian: No not really. Learning and then utilising a system like Microsoft Teams was a great help, and should streamline communication moving forward, whether that is from home or based in the office.
Joe: The only challenge that I have found working from home is knowing when to actually stop work, I sometimes find myself at 7pm still looking through my emails.
Olivia: I’ve had no technical challenges as such, just sometimes miscommunication. Communication for business or as a whole for that matter is key, anything but that can be a challenge when you’re working from home and you need to get in touch with a colleague.
There’s no right or wrong answer here as everyone’s situation is unique. We understand going back to work can be very challenging for some more than others. Get back into the swing of things, safely and carefully.