Reflections on a year of working from home
When we logged into Microsoft Teams from our kitchens and dining tables on Tuesday 17 March 2020, we didn’t realise we were starting a new working life.
The first few days were novel, new.
Seeing what colleagues looked like on screen, talking to circles at first until more and more cameras were turned on.
Creating temporary workstations, thinking we’d be back in a month.
My working life fitted into a plastic tub and everything was packed in there at the end of the day. …
We had a rare fresh snowfall overnight, about 20cm. It was soft, powdery snow, the kind that drifts.
In the morning, I was first out.
I felt privileged to put down the first footprints, to make the first marks.
It doesn’t happen often. Usually someone else has been there first, and you need to find a different place, or walk on the side of the path to make your own prints. As I moved onto a different part of my walk, many others had been there, and I found myself following their footprints. It got me thinking that fresh snowfall…
I went for a walk today in the full autumn orange and realised how grateful I am. Firstly, for the seasons themselves and the colours and changes that they bring, a reminder that time passes and that things change in life. And, secondly, that they have brought a significant change to my usual walk.
It's always the same in life; you do the same things each day and find yourself in a routine, invisible. You stop noticing things, fall into your thoughts, and time speeds up. …
I spent some glorious time last week walking on beaches and got home last night with sand in my shoes. I did try to clean them, to tip it out, but some of it always comes back. It’s nice in a way, it’s a reminder.
I suppose it's always the same with holidays or time away. Some of it always comes back. Sometimes, it's things you actively notice: your house looks different, you forget your computer password, you look at your home with fresh eyes and think of changes you could make.
Sometimes it's unexpected; you don't realise how rested…
I had to pop into my office today. To pick up a new work laptop. And, while I was there, I collected some paperwork from my desk.
It was an appointment-only visit and I had the once-bustling office floor completely to myself. Apart from the Covid-19 measures and signs on the floors and desks - and indications of activity having happened at some point - March was still in the air. And on the desk calendars...
I walked down the row to my desk, with a faint feeling of familiarity, but predominantly of strangeness. Someone had been at my desk…
The sign got taken down from the window today. I noticed it on my morning walk. The now bare window. It was a different walk as well because now the schools are back and there’s kids, traffic…
Almost every morning since March, I have looked at that “Keep Smiling, Stay Strong” sign that, when it appeared in the window at the start of the second week of lockdown, made me burst into tears with lockdown loneliness.
I’ve never seen the kids from that house, or even anyone who lives there, but every morning that carefully-drawn rainbow and words of hope…
Thoughts on the coronavirus, March 2020
We may never have this time again
When there’s community
Birds’ behaviour is changing
The deer are running free
There’s sadness and despair
But beneath it all
That want to help
Cause hopeful tears.
There’s loss, and pain
But through change
We may gain.
The change from ‘me’
And ‘the individual’
To the ‘us’ and ‘we’…
Industry is coming alive
Helping people thrive.
Good will in the air
In our homes, our mission Is to help Through omission. Stay home…
It’s been a week perhaps like no other. There’s not been a lot of time to breathe. Our lives have had to be immediately adjusted. Moving from an office to the home desk (or dining table!). Sending children to school then suddenly having them at home. Moving from a usual weekly shopping visit to being unable to find the things we need. And moving from a rolling routine, to something more reactive and turbulent.
And yet somehow, among all of this happening, life has also become a bit more reflective. Any change forces you to think, but something on this…
Our world has changed this month. Perhaps forever. The way we live has slowed and, in some cases, stopped.
Amidst all the impact that this has had, the area I notice it most is in connection.
It’s not until something like this happens that we realise how connected we were.
Seeing the same faces on the daily commute, saying hi to colleagues on our journey to the office, at our desks, the kitchen chat. Having friendly conversations with neighbours, with check-out staff. Meeting friends for lunch or coffee. Popping into parents for dinner or a visit.
And, suddenly, something’s cut…except…
As Christmas ends, and the tree and decorations have been put away...there's an echo in my living room.
I noticed it this morning and at first, I was quite pleased, because it means that I definitely have less stuff in there than I used to...
But then I was sad. Because it’s an echo of what was. My room was filled with tree, lights, colours. Red and green, Christmas cards from friends, laughter, warmth, family. And in some ways it’s an echo because all that’s gone.
But now... I feel like it’s a space of possibility. The warmth and colours…