As over a year has passed since we were first sent to work at home, we decided to reflect by asking you what your primary lesson has been from working during a global pandemic. As a London recruitment agency specialising in office-based roles, we know that those in office support jobs have been hugely affected. But we want to focus on the positive, and look at the lessons that will help us all in the future.
Flexibility is a skill
“I never really thought about flexibility in any great depth before March last year,” Jai admitted. “But now, I’ve learned that the ability to be flexible in your approach, thoughts, and work is a hugely beneficial skill. And what’s more, you can train yourself to be more flexible and to consider things from different angles. I’ve surprised myself with that!”
You can’t do it all, and that’s okay
“In the first lockdown, I was juggling three young children and working from home,” Sal explained. “I didn’t want my employer to know how much I was struggling. But both work and family were getting the worst from me, and I was exhausted. When the children were sent home again in January, I had to be honest that I couldn’t do it all. I spoke to my employer, and they helped me come up with some ways that worked for both of us. Just being open about it took a huge load off my mind. I wish I‘d been honest about how much I was struggling before!”
I can do things I never thought I could
“I work in tech,” explained Emma. “Before Covid, I avoided seeing people! I wouldn’t have spoken on the phone, let alone be seen on a video call! With Covid, I had to do these things. I discovered that the heavens didn’t come crashing down and actually, I can do it. People value me for my skills, but I was hiding them away. Covid forced my introverted self to become more open. It’s done wonders for my confidence!”
The internet is everything!
Rachel, who works in office admin, said, “If you’d asked me before Covid if I could do my job from home, I would’ve said no. But with the right technology, there’s nothing that I now can’t do from home. We’ve changed processes and learned about different technologies, and I think I can now get more done each day as a result — and it’s all down to the internet! So when that goes, I do panic!”
Mental health is as important as physical health
“I’ll be honest and say that before Covid, I thought that anyone taking time off for ‘stress’ was a bit of a malingerer,” Rob confessed. “I didn’t get how time off would help, and I certainly didn’t put mental health on a par with physical illness. But along with many others, I really felt the impact of the pandemic on my mental health. I learned a valuable lesson: I need to prioritise mental well-being as much as I prioritise physical health. It’s made me a better boss and a better person.”
What lessons have you learned from the last year that will help you in the future? There have definitely been struggles, but there are also lessons that we can take with us going forwards.
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