Robin in the garden

Postcards from the home workspace: London

Tim Collingwood - 26 May 2020

Fifth in an occasional series of posts looking at some of the small upsides we are seeing during this difficult and challenging time.

I was going to start this post by saying we are in week X of lockdown, but like most people I sometimes have to think twice as to what day it is, let alone what week.

Similarly, I don’t even know if we are technically in lockdown any more.

The world we have all been thrust into has been a challenge but at the same time there are many positives that have come from it. My wife and I are both working which has at times been stressful with a young child. However, being able to spend more time watching our little one develop is something I realise I’m lucky to witness and I know I will look back on fondly. 

Whilst I would love to have more space at home and a bigger garden, I also know how lucky I am to have a roof over my head and any kind of outdoor space at all. 

The garden in particular is where the lockdown is most noticeable. The lack of planes means that when one does fly overhead it causes you to look up.

Wildlife also seems to be flourishing. We now have small birds such as the robin (pictured above) which seems to visit us on a daily basis – something that never happened prior to lockdown in the years I’ve lived here. 

Working from home

From a professional perspective, working from home is not a new experience so the concept of the remote office isn’t a problem for me – although juggling with childcare is a different sort of challenge.

I have missed my occasional drive to and from the office and the chance to catch-up on podcasts but I know that I can work efficiently without getting too distracted in the home environment. 

We are lucky that we work in an industry where we can be based remotely nearly all of the time. 

As a company we’ve facilitated home working for several years now – from ensuring that we have digital copies of paper documentation to providing the team with laptops and a means of securely connecting to our internal network. Many of the team also work remotely on a regular basis so we knew that with the setup we had we wouldn’t have to think too hard about what we needed to do to ensure everyone could work from the safety of their own homes. 

Anecdotally, I’ve heard various stories of organisations who were not in the same position and had a mad dash to implement new hardware and software to enable their teams to work remotely.

Looking forward, I wonder how this period of time will shape the future world of work? 

I think that many people have surprised themselves in how able they were to work remotely – and, equally, many organisations will now feel they can trust their employees to do so. Irrespective of whether people work in an office, at home or a bit of both I think organisations will certainly look at their setup going forward from a much more flexible viewpoint.