Remote Working 101 – The New Normal
16 April 2020
It’s week four of working from home, also known as the 64th March 2020…
We’ve just run out of milk, meaning I’m having to resort to drinking black coffee, my solar powered calculator no longer works as it’s too dark in my “bedroom-come-office” workspace, and Alexa won’t even tell me a joke anymore, as the Wi-Fi keeps cutting out.
Working from home is just a little bit different from working at Woodrow High House. Although it’s not in my usual role to be out there delivering wonderful sessions to the thousands of young people that visit us every year, there’s something very sombre about not hearing the laughs and squeals of excitement from outside the office door when we have a residential group onsite. Instead, I overhear the conference calls of my other family members, all separated, all with their own stresses and worries, trying to work out this whole “working remotely” thing on Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp, House Party… you name it, we’re on it (that, and the frustrations of my sister, when she realises we’re out of milk again…)
It’s funny, you don’t quite realise how much you take for granted until it’s taken away from you. I miss my work colleagues. I miss their humming, foot-tapping and singing. I miss their stationery hording, incessant tea-drinking and biscuit-feeding ways. I miss hearing the varying responses to the question “What did you get up to at the weekend?” being greeted with anything other than “Oh, not much, I stayed at home.”
I’m feeling quite sad. I’m sad for the young people that were due to visit us in the coming weeks. I’m sad they won’t be able to climb Jacob’s Ladder, or conquer Nightline as a team. I’m sad they won’t get to experience the excitement of sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, and then staying up all night on a sugar high (I’m sure there will be others that are less sad about this specific point…!)
However, I’m also feeling grateful. Grateful for the fact we have an incredible team working hard to ensure that, when we open again, we’re better than ever. From operations, to sales, finance and facilities and everyone in between.
Our team of instructors, who are lucky enough to live on site together at Woodrow, have been working hard and showing extraordinary determination during lockdown, with a few “home improvements” to the site. Including: creating new archery bow stands – allowing young people in wheelchairs to access archery in a more inclusive way, maintaining the allotment to support our kitchen when they’re back open and in action, as well as painting fences, clearing guttering and so much more. I can’t wait to be back and see the results for myself.
So, for now, I will continue to try my best to contribute in ways I can. I will contact our customers, crunch numbers, update spreadsheets, write blogs, post pictures on social media, update our website, have conference calls, laugh with my colleagues on Teams, continue to talk on Teams when I’m on “mute”, send GIFs, update resources, watch the news, try not to watch the news, and ultimately try to stay positive, as tomorrow’s another day.
Written by Evie Edwards