Natalie: We are all in this Together

Every morning has been bright sunshine, not today, today is misty, foggy even. There is the prospect of sunshine but right now it doesn’t look great. I guess that is how I would also sum up 2020 so far!

When we were told we could work from home I didn’t want to. I knew what it was like having done it previously in other roles, whether it’s in your living room, on a train or in a hotel, you don’t get that same feeling you get from your office. Turns out I only managed to get an extra week before the luxury of walking in and offering nine other people a hot drink was gone and believe me, making 10 teas and coffees with three different milks, four different teas and two different coffees is a luxury when all of a sudden there is just you.

I am set up in my front room at the back looking out to the rest of the room and through my windows to my garden (that really needs sorting, I guess I’ll get time now!)

The picture of my Grandma and Grandad on each window sill looking at me, reminding me that it will be ok. The Monopoly box raises my laptop so I don’t get a double chin, headphones ready for virtual meetings, my Cherry Bakewell green tea, my bottle of water (I always drink three litres a day) and the remote so I can pop the radio on when the silence becomes deafening.

I have kept my routine nearly the same as I do at work, arrive, make a cuppa, more work, between 10-10.30 eat breakfast, carry on working, 12.30 walk on my 30-minute break, work, eat again, work and the day is complete. A few additions to this. I take part in an online fitness class before I start in the morning, I have a virtual 2pm meeting with my team and my tortoises Bert and Lottie amble around the living room, looking at me and wondering why I am home.

Bert and Lottie

When this all started I was scared. My biggest fear was looming in front of me and there was nothing I could do to stop it. LONELINESS. I lived alone and the prospect of me, my four walls and nothing or no one else petrified me. I am happy being single but when your freedom is removed that is entirely different. No one else in the office lived alone so I knew they could not relate. Alas, my wonderful daughter said she wanted to move home whilst this ‘experience’ ran its cause and relief flooded me.

I have good and bad days, days I feel frustrated and angry, days I want to cry and then days I am happy. When I am asked, “how are you coping today” I know someone cares and that reminds me that I am not alone.

I had the idea to do this blog to give anyone who reads it an insight on our team and how our working life looks now, but it has proven to be so much more. It has allowed the team to be creative, to put into writing their thoughts, their routines and hopefully once everyone reads each other’s, just as I have read everyone’s, it will open up their eyes to see what someone else is going through and to remember, we are all in this together.