A day in the life of Jim during lockdown
How are you?
I’m generally good! I try to find positives in situations despite how trying things can be. Lockdown’s changed my life quite significantly, before all this I would generally spend several hours commuting every day to different sites. Not because I had to or was told to, but more-so, I enjoy working with people. So whilst there is uncertainty in workload and what’s coming up, getting back 25 hours travelling a week has been a good thing to come out of this. I don’t look forward to the weekly Tesco shop which seems to take near 3 hours! (and why when shopping takes so long navigating down the one way system are all the chilled items by the entrance? – I’d love to know!). I do feel very lucky, I live with my wife, and we have a garden so have somewhere to go that’s different from my desk/laptop.
Can you tell us what you are working on?
I’m still working with a number of clients at the moment. Some things have slowed down and others seem to be more pressing. Naturally people are looking at how communications will be handled, how to avoid physical, yet continue with social interaction. Whenever anything new happens there tends to be a flurry for statistics so I’ve been writing lots of reports too. In lots of ways work has just carried on as it did before, just from a different desk.
Want difficulties does this bring with the current situation and lockdown?
I really enjoy working with people, showing them how to do things, showing them what they didn’t know was possible. All this I find is much harder when all working in isolation. You don’t get to see someone working on something and obviously struggling, or catch a glimpse of someone’s monitor and find out what they’re working on. Remotely everything seems to take that little bit more effort to recreate those moments. Personally, I enjoy more fast paced environments, where there is the urgency to get things fixed or put things in place, and you don’t get all that at home.
Generally, how has work been affected?
Works been good. I’m very happy to be still working, to still find that purpose and structure in a day that gives that sense of achievement when clocking off at the end of the day. But we’ve also taken the opportunity to get some home projects done, and generally ensure that every day was in some way useful and well spent. But I can genuinely say I miss going in to an office, I miss the people I work with, listening in on an inappropriate conversation or joke across the office. It’s not all bad, travel expenses have gone right down! And I’m saving a small fortune on grande skinny sugar free caramel lattes!
How do you see work patterns developing after we get out of the current restrictions?
I’m genuinely worried about knee jerk reactions to suddenly go back to the way things were just because. This situation has given us all new challenges, but some silver linings, so it’s going to be important for me to find a balance. Generally I’ve found I can be more available to help clients when working from home, so I’d like to keep that going a little. I agree with my colleagues that its more about output rather than specific hours worked. Due to it being tree pollen season at the moment, I am up way earlier than normal, do a few hours work before 9, and finish around 4.30 some days. And those can be very productive. But hey, who knows what’s going to happen next. Just gotta make the most of it!