Lockdown, the new kid on the block.
Changing lives, changing working, changing relationships.
For everyone - self employed, employed, looking for work, retired - 2020 will be a year to remember. Not necessarily fondly, but one to remember nonetheless.
For me, lockdown has been a period of intense learning - about myself, my work colleagues and my working preferences. And what have I learned?
1) After years of wishing I didn't need to commute, I've learned that working from home relentlessly, day in, day out does not produce the best from me. The colleague who introduced twice weekly coffee catch ups on Teams - with video, without work, will be forever my saviour
2) I've learned that my home working style of working intensely for hours with no breaks is not productive for extended periods. Joe Wicks and Adriene (check out her yoga) have saved me - along with walking the dog in the local park
3) I've learned that reaching out, talking to colleagues and opening up about difficulties or challenges is a positive - most people are happy to have a quick chat and give a new perspective on a problem. And that sometimes, I don't need them to give me a perspective, I just need to talk about something other than what is worrying me.
But most of all, I've learned that everyone is different and reacting differently to different circumstances. I've learned to be more tolerant of other people's priorities and perspectives and be more considerate of their time and their emotional energy.
I look at LinkedIn and other social media and see a more positive, gentle society - grateful for the efforts of others and willing to work together for a common goal.
I wonder whether these will translate into a different society - and whether there will be a lasting impact? It's hard to believe that the old ways of working - long commutes and hours in an office will remain the norm. Lockdown has taught us all that people can use technology in ways that were only touched upon previously. That we can balance home and work - and working 8 hours a day 9-5 may not be the most productive work pattern we have.
I'm planning how to use my lockdown learning to make me more balanced, more tolerant and more productive. What have you learned and what will you maintain beyond lockdown?