Happy Easter from a locked down London

As we enter the third week of lockdown in London we have reflected on our time working from home and adjusting to the New Normal.

Mike Deeks by Mike Deeks,

My team has shared their personal stories from three weeks of lockdown in London and we hope you enjoy reading them.  As for me and my family, we often think that if the lock down was in our lovely East Fremantle home with large garden, pool, spa and al fresco area and loads of space, it would be heavenly compared to our small London home.

But here we are and here we’ll stay for the duration.  We have just enough space for each of us to have some privacy but it is both a blessing and a challenge to have our two grandsons holed up with us.  My wife, Jenny, and I have both had plenty of  quality time with the boys for which we are very grateful.  Keeping them busy, entertained and educated is a challenge but, its amazing how creative you can become.

For us all, little treats and loving gestures take on greater meaning and we find it is a great time to be a real role model for our children.  I’m sure we will cherish this time together in years to come (albeit, right now, we would be delighted if it came to an end soon!!).  We pray that you stay safe and in good humour.

Stories from the WAGO team:

“Reflecting on the past few weeks firstly have made me realise how much I value our social interaction with work colleagues in the office.

Our new norm of communicating through Microsoft Teams and social media groups emphasize the fact although necessary now, how quickly society adapts.

The positive message in this time for me remains the time spent with family and at least the ability to communicate with work colleagues and friends.

While everyone in the household is “at work from home” I find the need to drown out the background noise and focus in unusual spaces in the home.

My loft has become my new office and strangely I enjoy my time spent in it.”

Michael Carstens

“We have all changed our work patterns, I enjoy the daily video meetings with the rest of the team, I really miss the interactions that I had in the office and with other colleagues in the building, so these help.

I am finding this time very similar to when I was first widowed.  Not quite sure what to do with myself, keeping busy and reflecting.  So I am taking each day as it comes and not thinking too far ahead and not putting too many demands on myself.”

Sally Janssen

“My first thoughts in the morning is what day of the week is it. And is it bin day? Before lockdown we didn’t even have to think what day it was.

It is strange how quickly the house dynamics have changed, but we have all worked together all be it in strange places (a bedroom for an office!).

It’s nice to know that we have a team meeting to interact with everyone daily – I think that is really important for everyone to keep in touch with the outside world as much as we can.

Finally, I love the fact that Thursday has become the day we can all go outside and join the neighbours to clap for the NHS and key workers. Personally speaking I am seeing a lot more of my neighbours, who I wouldn’t normally see and it’s nice to have the community feeling at this time.”

Debbie Winfield

“In just a week we were advised to work from home, and as UK entered lockdown and all childcare centres closing, my toddler was going to be at home as well. My husband and I decided to work in shifts but ever so often our meetings collide, meaning one of us will have our daughter climb on us as we videoconference. The living room has turned into a playground where the couch is a trampoline and the cushions are slides.

It is a challenge to say the least and requires an intense focus on whatever task is at hand. What has been amazing is the support from the team. Every day we laugh together at someone’s crazy experience and we’re getting creative in the kitchen sharing food photos. It is this special bonding that I will cherish as we come out of this one day.”

Charlotta Kemp

“The first thing I learned – very quickly – is that working from home permanently is incredibly different to working from home every now and again. My wife and I live in a 1 bedroom flat, so the first thing we considered is how to manage this structurally. We purchased an office desk and chair and had to improvise on where to set this up…. It may or may not be in our stairwell landing…. Then there’s the importance of routine. We pack-down after each day so our work equipment isn’t in view.

I’ve gotten into the habit of doing a stretch and light pilates session each morning for about 15 minutes, and we only watch news after 4.30pm to try and keep our minds clear and focused on work.”

Joe Doleschal-Ridnell

From all of us to all of you, have a safe and happy Easter.

Agent General Mike Deeks CSC and the WAGO team