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Lessons from lockdown: How we’re using what we’ve learnt to improve our working practices

09/12/2020

This time last year, of all the things we thought 2020 might bring, a worldwide pandemic was not one of them. And yet here we are, just out of a second national lockdown, with more restrictions to come and a far from normal Christmas to look forward to.

Businesses and their staff across the world have been forced to adapt quickly. Many have shifted entire teams from an office environment to home – and here at Eadon it was no different.

We quickly responded to the pandemic by implementing our business continuity plan. Our daily face-to-face meetings were replaced with online video calls and dining tables and spare rooms became our offices. Coming to terms with the so called ‘new normal’ has been a strange experience for everyone. Some have enjoyed a slower pace of life and a quieter and more focused day-to-day working environment, while others have felt stressed, at times having to juggle work, children and home schooling.

Despite having different experiences of being in lockdown, we all agree that it’s taught us a lot. We’ve learnt about ourselves as people, about how adaptive we can be and how we cope under stress. At Eadon we’ve been reflecting on the things that have helped us maintain the high standards of work we are so proud of and about what we’ve learnt about looking after our mental health.

Joe Ashman from Eadon said: “It’s easy to get sucked into doing a long stint looking at the screen. I now try and get up regularly for a drink or snack just to give myself a five minute break from things which I think is good for productivity.”

The team also found that ‘building a dedicated home workspace’ and ‘being tidy and well organised’ also helped increase productivity. While ‘playing sports’, ‘taking time out of the house to get fresh air at least once a day’ and ‘spending more quality time with loved ones’ helped their mental wellbeing.

Having started his role during lockdown Adam Griffin said he found it important to try and build in some personal conversation to calls instead of jumping straight to work. He said “this has been extra crucial to try and build some personal relationships that would normally be built through socials and casual conversation in the office.”

In theory, a lack of commute means employees now have more free time. But many have found it difficult to switch off when their office is also their home. As a business we have tried to consciously manage such behaviours and encourage our employees to live a more balanced life.

Covid-19 has forced us to revaluate our workforce model. We have learnt that flexible working, and the benefits that come with it, are more important than ever. It has also highlighted just how important social interaction is to us in our daily lives. A ‘social office culture’ is not an easy thing to translate to a ‘working from home’ workforce. We have tried to overcome this challenge by adopting new ways to regularly keep in touch with each other such as retaining our daily tea breaks via video calls. We look forward to a time when our team can meet face-to-face again. In the meantime, we will continue to encourage flexible working, keep our standards as high as always and maintain the same sense of team spirit we always have.

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