I can’t believe that FCC has now been working from home for 15 weeks. I have found that through this lockdown and the change to how we work, personal time and space are really important for me in order to keep both physical and mental well-being healthy.
Recently, I was supposed to have some annual leave to go to the South of France to see family, but due to the ongoing pandemic, the trip was cancelled. However, I was not going to let this interfere with my break! We obviously couldn’t go away, but we still took a week off from all things work and crisis-related.
Over the previous months, I now developed my daily routine for work, which is incorporated with my caring responsibilities for my Granny. She has recovered remarkably well from her fall in March, but still requires full-time care and assistance. I have had to get her visa extended twice since her accident, due to South Africa’s borders still being closed. It is very stressful not knowing how long this will continue, and when we will eventually be able to get her home safely. For now, she is still shielding at home and enjoying the lovely summer weather.
Mondays in my home office, are usually admin driven with one-to-one catch-ups with my line manager and my team. I spent this morning planning the week together with Amber Noel, and my meeting with my line manager is really useful. I value these meetings, as I believe communication, especially during this lockdown period, is key to a good functioning Corporate Services team.
Today started off busy, with lots of meetings to organise for the team. There are plenty of exciting projects happening at FCC, which you can find out more about on the projects page on our website. One project that has resonated with me during this lockdown period whilst caring for my Granny, has been FCC’s E-learning for carers we have developed. The course that stood out for me was the Managing your own Stress, Depression and Anxiety. I have found the information on this course to be useful in recognising and managing my own anxiety during this uncertain period. This is really important to maintain as the world moves towards the “new normal”.
I had a one-to-one meeting with our newest member of the team, Peter Bloomfield, Head of Policy and Research. Peter is the first staff member to have joined and completed his induction process entirely virtually, as he started with us during lockdown. What I am finding throughout lockdown, talking to various colleagues and friends all over the world, is that everyone is missing the physical element of their day-to-day lives. Although technology has been superb throughout this crisis, there is nothing quite like meeting a new staff member in person and celebrating their arrival with the team.
I am very excited about FCC’s brand-new newsletter, which was distributed for the first time this week. This has been something the team has worked hard on and is proud of. It showcases what FCC is up to and reflects FCC’s recent brand refresh. If you’d like to keep up-to-date with our thinking and work, I’d recommend that you sign up for our newsletter.
Much of today has been spent on tying up admin related tasks and planning for next week. Since we’re also at month-end, I will be finalising everything payroll- and finance-related too. I like to end the week off, with a call with my team to discuss the week just gone, and the week to come. We then end the meeting on a positive note by discussing our plans for the weekend!
While this week has been full of all sorts of interesting projects, meetings, conversations and tasks, the one thing that stands out for me is the importance of clear communication and support from work colleagues – this ensures a smooth collaborative working “virtual” environment. The same goes for my home environment with my family, especially with the extra caring responsibilities for Granny, on top of working a full day. I am very grateful that the lockdown in the UK has eased slightly, so that my brother is now able to visit and help us. My family and I are all positive that South African borders will reopen in 2020, so that we can send her home safely, to reunite with her son.