As part of our blog series where we share experiences, tips, and tricks of living and working during lockdown, Claire Hutton, Research Technical Team Lead, explains how she overcame some of the initial anxieties of lockdown by establishing routine and connecting with people.
I started as Research Technical Team Lead in January, and like everyone else I had lots of plans for the next few months. I really wasn’t prepared for working from home – I didn’t expect the University shutdown to happen as quickly as it did – and I felt like I’d been swept along in a bit of a tidal wave in that last week at work!
Luckily I have a work laptop, but doing everything on a small screen is challenging, and working via RAS (the remote working tool) isn’t ideal! I found the first couple of weeks really stressful – lots of emails from people looking for answers that I didn’t have. I’ll also admit that the idea of getting used to new software like Zoom and Teams made me pretty anxious! I have 2 boys aged 13 and 14 who were also suddenly at home and having to get used to doing work remotely. It all felt a bit too much.
I decided that having a routine would help, so we get up at a set time every morning and start work at 9am, with regular breaks through the day. I have meetings or “coffee time” with colleagues most days, as keeping in touch makes me feel less isolated – I’m a Zoom and Teams expert now!! I go into work once a week to flush taps, check on equipment and make sure there are no issues with the buildings – it’s strange that a trip into work feels like an outing these days!
One of the main things that is helping me is taking part in regular gym classes via Zoom, doing some exercise gives me a lift, and doing it via Zoom means that I get to see my gym buddies as well. I’m also decorating, cleaning and gardening to stay busy.