Over a year has passed since the UK went into lockdown, although it does sometimes feel like longer than that. It’s been a struggle for all of us in different ways, but as is often the case when faced with challenges, it’s also an opportunity to grow and reflect. Here are some learnings to take away from the pandemic.

Routine gives us resilience

Something that may have come as a surprise to at least some of us, is that having a routine is actually really quite important. Working alone and from home requires a lot of self-discipline, and actually having some kind of schedule makes a big difference. Of course, we all work differently and not all of us necessarily want a strict routine, but the lack of structure in life since lockdown has really crystalised why at least some structure is important.

Sometimes our personal lives can be complicated, overwhelming or distracting, and if we have some routine to fall back on it can give us stability and emotional resilience. Routine at work can also really help you manage your time and stay productive.

We all need human connection

Another learning, which may be more expected, is that we really benefit from human interaction. Our working life is so much richer when we get to maintain those face-to-face meet ups. It’s not necessarily even communicating about a project or piece of work, but more just the chit-chat and relationship building that comes from sharing a space with co-workers. It’s important to keep making time to catch up with people and keep the bonds strong.

Also, video conference calls can be quite tiring, especially if you have several back-to-back. Sometimes it’s worth scheduling in a meeting for 5 past or 10 past the hour just to give people some breathing space.

The comforts of home

Our final learning is a new appreciation for the comforts of home. It would be amazing if more businesses could transform their office spaces into a more comfortable place to be, after all we spend a decent proportion of time at work. Whether that’s allowing people to wear clothes that they feel comfortable in, ensuring everyone has enough natural light for their work area, or simply making some simple improvements to the space such as adding in some plants or updating the décor.

Workers also really do appreciate the flexibility of homeworking, and many organisations are now considering offering a mix of home and office working permanently for more of their staff. According to a YouGov poll, 57% of those who were working before the outbreak and who intend to stay part of the workforce say they want to be able to continue working from home. If there was one change we expect to see after the pandemic subsides, it’s a rise in remote working.

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