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What a Difference a Week Makes! By Gill Watts

So it begins……….

Monday 16th – I was told by my manager not to come into work Tuesday, but to work at home. Now, for the odd day, working at home is perfectly possible and even beneficial. My employer is slowly adjusting to this more flexible style of working, but as we all have laptops it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Tuesday 17th – Quite excited, got the kids off to school, came back and started trying to connect to the Network. Tried all morning, in between phone calls to my manager. The problem was although we have the laptops the network capabilities didn’t extend to the whole work force trying to log on outside of the office. Managed a short window at lunch time when people luckily enough to have connected took a break. Downloaded updates which should make things easier tomorrow.

Wednesday 18th – Computer on. Log on complete, green lights on “Teams” and ready to go. Fantastic I thought, the updates are working. Just popped to get myself a coffee and when I returned, I found I had lost the connection! Worked from my phone the rest of the day.

Thursday 19th – Logged on a lot more quickly today, quick chat online with a colleague before a scheduled team meeting at 9:40am. Woohoo nearly all team members were in attendance and connected. Unfortunately, at 9:59am everything cut out and connection was lost, probably as other colleagues tried to dial into meetings. Took the opportunity to pop into the office to collect mouse, keyboard etc. Only 2 other people on my wing, so I stayed for a bit easily managing to social distance (we had a bank of desks per person).

Friday 20th – This is going to last a while. New home workstation set up. The tech will improve and as the kids are now off, we may have to be creative at getting the hours in “off-peak”. E.g. early morning or late afternoon. As it was a non-work day, started thinking about how to connect with people. Using email to hold Off the Point and exploring Zoom for online meetings with friends and family.

The brave new world………..

Monday 23rd – Definitely not travelling to London this week for Module 4 of a Year long training programme I am on for women in the Civil Service. Luckily, the organisers have managed to put in place a virtual training session. Can’t wait!

Tuesday 24th

Got up at 6am and started work at 6:30am. Really pleased to be able to put in an 8-hour day. Lots of team meetings and no loss of connectivity all day.

Wednesday 25th – What a fabulous day meeting with all my course delegates online. Very impressed with Zoom for Business – we even managed to split into breakout rooms for some syndicate exercises. Cool!

Thursday 26th – Day 2 of our course is Peer Group led. We met in Zoom again and worked on how to convert our Hot Topic presentation on Authentic Personal Impact into a video presentation.

Friday 27th – Well, work wise I have had a near normal week albeit in a virtual setting. The girls are still alive. We have all found different spaces to live and work within the house and the wifi hasn’t let us down. For as long as this goes on – we can survive, even thrive. Let’s hope there are new ways of working in the future that we have learnt during this time which will help the environment as well as work/life balance.

By Gill Watts

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