Lockdown Life - The Team

Like the rest of the world, COVID-19 has changed the way everyone works and lives. With countless teams on furlough, many working remotely and strong social distancing guidelines in place, it’s safe to say working in the office may never be the same again and our lives are currently very different to the one we knew.

The Expert in Mind team like most have now been working remotely for a couple of months, though does anyone truly understand how their teams feel about working from home and how they feel their lives have changed… we decided to find out.

With five simple questions, we asked our teams how life has changed, if they have taken up any new hobbies, how they find working from home, what they miss most about the office and what they are looking forward to most when life returns to normal.

Zofia, Company Director

How has life changed; Have you taken up any new hobbies?

Life changed immeasurably when lockdown started.  But, it’s amazing how quickly you adjust to new situations.  Now, staying at home is the norm.  It’s like being in a bubble of safety.  I have probably spoken a lot more to friends that live in different countries as video chat has now become normal, along with virtual quizzes, virtual put nights.  The time at home has allowed more quality time with friends, although not in person, but the next best thing.  I have become a keen gardener! Being at home means you notice growth and change in the garden more than ever before and I am now taking great pride in growing vegetables and flowers!

How do you find working from home?  What do you miss most about the office?

To start with it was exceedingly difficult to adjust.  Going from being in an office full of people with the buzz around you, to solitary working was a shock to the system.  However, now it seems normal and my days are incredibly productive as a whole.  I miss the team though and the banter of the office.

What are you looking forward to most once life returns to ‘normal’?

I am looking forward to having events to look forward to in the diary.  It’s very strange nowadays to have blank weeks ahead with no social events or outings.  Although this year has created different kinds of memories, I prefer the happy ones with friends enjoying adventures!  I also cannot wait not to have to think about being distanced from people.  I will appreciate a hug more than I ever thought I could!

 

Sophie, Business Manager

How has life changed; Have you taken up any new hobbies?

Life has changed drastically and at times, it has been difficult. I’ve converted my spare room into an office and am now working from home. I’ve gone from seeing key family members regularly to now seeing my grandparents through a window and virtually quizzing weekly with friends! Times like these make you appreciate the smaller things in life and those around you that little bit more. 

It’s safe to say lockdown and the pandemic has made me more active. I’ve explored the new area I recently moved to and have been on many walks in the countryside around us. As well as this, I’ve regularly started playing tennis! 

How do you find working from home?  What do you miss most about the office?

Working from home has been quite different to the environment I was used to. The first week or so was the hardest as we adjusted as to begin with I was on my own all day rather than in an open plan office with not only colleagues, but those I see as friends! Albeit I’ve quickly adjusted to my new environment and what has become the new normal for now. I spend far less time commuting now and have started to use that time to enjoy the sunshine and get more active! The one thing I miss most will always be my team and the high spirit of the office.

What are you looking forward to most once life returns to ‘normal’?

I was due to get married in September but unfortunately, we are about to postpone this until next year so this is probably the biggest thing I’m excited for! It’s also those little things like being able to see friends and family properly and being able to shop normally. 

 

Lucy, Accounts Manager

How has life changed; Have you taken up any new hobbies?

I cannot say that my life has particularly changed hobby wise – I’ve certainly baked more than usual and tried out new recipes but other than that my time is typically spent the same minus the socialising. We still get out to do the dog walks and are lucky enough to have a garden to be able to enjoy and potter around in too. But I am certainly enjoying having lunch being made for me every day by my husband! He might have to keep that one up when we go back to ‘normal’!

How do you find working from home?  What do you miss most about the office?

I find working from home ideal from the point that the commute to my dining table is very quick and there are less distractions which means I can focus on the task at hand easier. However, the distractions are what makes the workday memorable! I’ve got to say I miss Lexie (the bosses’ dog) giving me her toothy grin in the mornings and asking for bum rubs, and of course not forgetting her late afternoon excitement when it’s nearly home time! There is also the fun we have within the office itself with everyone’s unique, and somewhat amusing personalities.

What are you looking forward to most once life returns to ‘normal’?

I’m most looking forwards to being able to see friends and family again! We have gone from socialising every single week to suddenly nothing (other than talking on the phone and occasional Zoom catchups!). We’re also looking forwards to being able to rearrange holidays that we had to cancel recently and finish doing up the house.

 

Shyann, Case Manager

How has life changed; Have you taken up any new hobbies?

As an avid gym goer who would normally go around 5-6 times a week, I have done little to no exercise in around 5 weeks. This has impacted my natural motivation and my ‘me’ time massively. I wish I could say I have taken up a new hobby, unless you class being addicted to you Nintendo switch as one? 

How do you find working from home?  What do you miss most about the office?

I feel like I have now adapted to working from home quite nicely, it’s great to have the opportunity to get really in the zone without any distractions.  However, I do miss the offices day to day morale and everyone’s upbeat spirit.

What are you looking forward to most once life returns to ‘normal’?

Going to the GYM and 100% going to the coffee shop.

 

Jillian, Accounts Assistant

How has life changed; Have you taken up any new hobbies?

Life in general has become more isolated and segregated.  The mere fact that you have to social distance and avoid contact with your loved ones is quite drastic to say the least especially for us S.African’s who enjoy the company of others, and family get togethers and socials are regular occurrences. Not being able to kiss or hug family & friends is almost torturous in a way, because it seems so unnatural when the act of touching someone comes naturally to us.  Yes, we are a rather “touchy feely” bunch. For as new hobbies, I can’t say that I have taken up new hobbies, simply because I don’t have the extra time, but can say that a few home improvements have been done both inside and outside the home. I can also attest to using social media more to stay in touch with people, which is something I seldom did… I always preferred to spend time with them in person.

How do you find working from home?  What do you miss most about the office?

Working from home I’m sure benefits those with young children and pets but me personally, I prefer the structure of going into the office daily.  It gives me purpose and the time away from the small irritations of family life & people walking into your “workspace” and disrupting you.  Let’s not even mention the Wi-Fi challenges you have with working at home…. I can’t say that my internet provider and I are on talking terms any longer, but locked into a contract for another year still.

When I was working from home, I found it pleasant to spend my lunch time in the garden sunning myself and having a chilled lunch with my husband and the conversation was relaxed and productive.  That’s the bit that I miss along with the symphony of birds singing in the trees.

What are you looking forward to most once life returns to ‘normal’?

What I miss mostly about the office is the comradery, teamwork, and the hype when things are running like a well-oiled machine.  I miss everyone’s faces and their weird and endearing quirks and let’s not forget the banter.  I miss being able to deal with issues almost instantaneously because the person is in the office with you.  Yeah!  I’ll be glad when this is all over and feeling of isolation and separation is done and people can come together again.

 

Felix, Office Administrator

How has life changed; Have you taken up any new hobbies?

It’s the same, except food shopping is a bit more of a pain. I’m saving loads of money, though.

How do you find working from home?  What do you miss most about the office?

It’s great. I don’t have to travel, and I can do everything I’d do in the office at home. The only downside is that we don’t have the normal phone system. Also, I’m eating less cake now.

What are you looking forward to most once life returns to ‘normal’?

Being able to clear my throat in public without looks of horror.

 

Star, Office Administrator / Trainee Case Manager

How has life changed; Have you taken up any new hobbies?

I usually spend a lot of my time travelling in England and other countries, going to a lot of dnb music events which I have been unable to do and cannot wait to get back to. I have recently taken up Yoga, I used to do Gymnastics so I am shocked it has taken me this long to get into it – thank you Coronavirus.

How do you find working from home?  What do you miss most about the office? 

Working from home is not as bad as I expected it to be, I am enjoying not having to get the train and walk to work although I do miss the smell of nature. The thing I miss the most about being in the office is the laughter with my colleagues, and the need to get dressed in the morning.  

What are you looking forward to most once life returns to ‘normal’? 

The thing I am looking forward the most is going to Windsor and seeing my boyfriend, going to music events with my friends and the beer garden in my favourite pubs.