“Some will look at the glass half empty, others half-full. But we should all be looking at it as refillable”. Sláinte!
In a negatively focused, media-driven world, it is often difficult to find the positives at the best times, let alone in the midst of a pandemic. I am certainly not saying that this current situation is a positive one, far from it. Nevertheless, the reality is that we are going to be in this situation for some time, and it will be a whole lot easier with a positive and together community; and there is positive news. Pollution is down, air quality improving, Venetian rivers the cleanest they have been in 60 years, and we are finally seeing a genuine compassion for frontline workers.
Working from home
Having joined Rowlands, and the world of recruitment only a year ago, to the day, I was unsure of what to expect as things unravelled. As with many people, I had worries of redundancy, unemployment, uncertainty. Luckily, with an outstanding team of twelve positive, motivated and driven individuals, led by an exceptional executive team, we are continuing near normal. The Jersey job market is alive and well. Understandably, there has been a change in motion. However, not the negative one we all feared.
Fortunately, our IT guru, Dan, had a system in place that has allowed for a quick and efficient transfer to the home working environment. Other than the absence of colleagues around me, it is near enough business as usual. We are still seeing new job vacancies coming our way, from commercial to finance, trainee to executive, and contract to permanent. We made our first fully virtual placement three weeks ago, with all the interviews from our initial contact to the client’s offer taking place over the phone and video conferencing. Since then, in this short space of time, our process has become more streamlined, with placements continuing, at various companies. Start dates are still going ahead, with new starters welcomed virtually to their teams. It is not a recruitment process we are planning to fully continue with, once things have resolved, but we have learnt some new valuable methods of working. It goes to show how you can adapt to difficult situations, yet still achieve the same outcomes.
Socialising from home
On the note of ‘firsts’ - it’s been a great few weeks for this, both professionally and personally. As a team, we had our first virtual pub-quiz, won by Georgina (although dubiously aided by her one-year-old daughter, Hettie). I am currently writing my first blog (good on you for making it this far). I took part in my first live meditation session, courtesy of the brilliant Dan Ireland, hosting all the way from over in Australia. Alongside my university pals, we have started a ‘Quarantine Workout Club’ (QWC; regarded as a less appealing and motivational version of Joe Wicks’ ‘PE With Joe’ - memberships available soon). I gave myself my first home haircut, resulting in three dents taken out the side of my skull, and now looking like Thomas Shelby’s poor country cousin. I have even started this new fitness craze, called ‘Yoga’ [yow·guh], joining in on an online class with the team at Hotpod Yoga.
Home from home
I have enjoyed trying these new activities, and venturing away from my ‘usual’. We all tend to have our routine, and can sometimes be averse to change. Having to change your routine can be difficult for many, especially when told to do so overnight. It can have an impact on our physical, mental and social wellbeing. We now need to choose how we spend our allocated two hours outing. As for the other 22 hours of the day, spent in our homes, we really need to choose to spend it wisely. Last week, I saw a great picture with the caption “Thoughts and prayers going out to all the married men, who have spent months telling their wives - I’ll do that when I have the time”. Now, I’m not married (currently on the market; although I imagine that once this is all over my interaction skills will be non-existent, and conversation beyond “How’s working from home going” be absent), but I’m not letting that be an excuse and I’m working through my list of chores more efficiently. I have started taking better care of the lawn - you’ll now find me out there most evenings, ruler and scissors in hand!
Future from home
One final thought. Easter weekend is coming up - the perfect four day opportunity to really get to know every square inch of your home! If anyone has even managed to continue with their Lenten efforts, well done and enjoy the weekend’s indulgences. Ironically, I set about reducing negative thoughts, something well tested through this situation. My ten and eleven year old cousins messaged me from Ireland last week, saying, “We’re loving it. I know it’s not something to love”. I probably wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ - comes across a little … strong. But I’ll continue doing my best to focus on the positives, and with Easter being all about new beginnings, I’m hopeful we will all learn a lesson of value, come this new beginning.
Read another WFH diary blog: Dan...the IT guy.