Holly Crabtree, Senior Analyst for NECS Consultancy explains how the team have come together to support each other during Covid-19.
I had just returned home from a (short-lived) trip to Portugal to the news that I was going to be working from home full time for an, at the time, unknown period. I wasn’t too fazed by the news at first as I’ve always quite enjoyed working from home. However, I was quick to realise that working from home one day a week is quite different to working from home five days a week! Paired with not being allowed to leave the house, or see any of my friends or family, I soon found that working from home wasn’t as appealing as I first thought.
Fast forward nearly 6 months and I’m feeling much better about working remotely, so much so that I think the Pandemic will permanently change the way I work. I doubt that I would be saying this if it wasn’t for my amazing team, the support from NECS and the fact that I now have a lovely puppy to keep me company.
Every day at work since lockdown began, I have spoken to at least one person in my team. This may have been for a project update, a 1:1 or just a quick check in to see how each other are feeling, and this really made all the difference. We have scheduled in more team meetings, spoken more about how we’re feeling and made lots of effort to have some fun despite being stuck at home. As a team, we have always been open about mental health, but lockdown has made us that bit more aware of watching out for our colleagues, and reminding each other that we are all human, and some days will be better than others.
As well as having additional team meetings, we also have a NECS-wide meeting most Fridays. At first, these meetings were used to give essential information on Coronavirus, what this meant for us and how our work may change. Once the majority of us had settled in to the new way of life, these weekly meetings transformed into an hour of escapism where everyone comes together to have some fun. We have had a whole range of activities to take part in, including a Salsa lesson, mindfulness and meditation, a morning workout, bring your pet to work day (the pets were not as enthusiastic as the humans) and lots of amazing presentations on the work colleagues across NECS have been doing throughout the Pandemic.
Without this team spirit, I can only imagine that lockdown would have been considerably harder. Everyone is busy and working hard but it is comforting to know that there is always someone at the other end of the phone if you are ever having a bad day.
As lockdown restrictions ease and there is talk of potentially going back to the office before the end of the year, I look back on the support my team and NECS have offered and feel very grateful. Although working from home has started to feel normal, I look forward to the day that I can finally see everyone’s faces again without being behind a screen.
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