It has now officially been over an entire year since the UK’s first National Lockdown was announced. A year since most of us packed up our laptops & desktops, took the office home and for our print team – faced new challenges.
A lot has happened and changed in the last year, Zoom quizzes, Tik Tok trends and another two Lockdowns later, here we are – March 2021. We spoke to some of our staff members about how they have felt working through the COVID-19 Pandemic and what they think the future might hold.
John Hoggarth – Brand Management Operator
After a year of working from home, I haven't missed the commute to and from work. I like the fact that I can get up and get straight on with my work. I have also liked the flexibility this has given me to take my son to and from school, taking that extra responsibility off both my parents and reducing the risk for them from being out and about.
This change hasn't impacted my productivity. The way things are set up makes it easy to communicate with my colleagues via Teams. If any issues arise, with the use of Teams it means these can be resolved quickly. Another benefit of being set up at home is the convenience of doing overtime, being able to get my son to and from school, start working again later on and waking up Saturday morning and just walking across the landing to start work.
I thought there would be an issue was the output of GMGs for checking colours and any areas of concern. This has proven not to be an issue, as through teams asking whoever was in the office could feedback via a photo or just comment to give me the confidence that what I had done was OK.
Going forward, I would like to continue working from home. This last year, I have got into a good routine, with an equal work/family balance that has had zero impact on my production and home life.
Wendy Sheard - Receptionist
Working from home has not been the easiest of tasks in many ways as reception work involves working with the phones, visitors, admin work and liaising with other members of staff. It’s been challenging at times but always manageable in the end. It has been easier to do some things as there are not as many interruptions working from home, unless the cat decides to walk across your laptop keyboard while you’re away from it to get a drink, and she types in her own private coded message! The constant in/out of the pets at home is almost the same as letting people in and out of the office!
I have learned that there’s always a way around things, you have to adapt to working with what you have available and be patient when things/people/answers aren’t as readily available. There is always someone to contact and help, from IT problems to getting messages to people. I guess it is the same if I am working in the reception, it just takes a bit more working out to get the right help.
I have made working from home easier by being organised, having files and paperwork to hand, an up-to-date phone list, and a large notepad.
Regarding the future of working from home, I am not sure this is the way forward as a receptionist. Still, admin can be done from home to a certain extent with some juggling of messages and receiving the much-needed information and paperwork.
Ginny Lowe - Brand Management Operator
What’s worked for me when working from home is flexibility. I feel like I’ve got much more time and energy. Overtime can be done at a time to suit, rather than when the office is open, with the option of stopping for a meal then working late or starting earlier.
I’m caring part-time for my dad at the moment, and it’s a comfort to know I can pop and sort a problem out or take him for an appointment for an hour and make the time up later in the day. I also feel safe working at home and can concentrate with no distractions.
What doesn’t work is the social side and meetings for me. I think one to one review is much better in person than on Teams. I like a chat if I’m concerned about anything, and although a phone conversation is fine, sometimes face-to-face is better.
I enjoy working from home and it suits my life right now and it means I can work remotely from any location in the future. I don’t need much guidance now but always use Teams to ask/call for advice from other operators.
Michael Preston – Business Development Manager
I have found working from home very flexible. It allows us to extend our hours either side of the working day, making it more productive. Some lessons I have learned since working from home are to not drink too much coffee and also, to make sure I have time away from the desk in the fresh air to keep myself sharp.
To make working from home easier, I have kitted out my home office with a good chair, an improved monitor and keyboard to make it comfier.
In future, I think that in my role as Business Development Manager, I will still have some face-to-face meetings when Covid restrictions are lifted. Still, most of my day-to-day meetings will be online to save time travelling and allow myself to be more efficient.
We also spoke to a member of our print team to find out a bit more about their experience working through the Pandemic.
Joe Beaumont - Rewind Operator
Personally, I think working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely alleviated a lot of concerns that a large number of people in the UK are having to contend with, financial stability being one - but also helping to ensure a much-needed sense of normality.
Springfield itself has seen a growth in both its turnover and staff size, but ultimately, I believe the greatest boom that these uncertain times has brought our company has been the drastic changes to our shared beliefs. During the outbreak, not one member of staff worked to simply take home a wage, we were here to help provide our front-line workers with the sanitisation products they desperately needed.
Due to this unified change in goals, we have undoubtedly seen a change to the underlying sentiments and individual perceptions towards our company, as well as highlighting the importance of our role within the health care infrastructure. Those changes in beliefs are now cemented into our company's culture, and as such I believe that we will continue to evolve and grow looking into the future.
The past year has taught us a lot, our team members have been able to grow alongside the business during the Pandemic and we are incredibly proud of everything we have achieved together.
Despite the Pandemic, 2020 was a year of growth for us here at Springfield. This included -
- providing 50,000 free hand sanitiser labels to the NHS, Police & Armed Forces
- Plus, 850 personalised hand sanitisers to local NHS staff free of charge.
A massive thank you to all of our staff for their continued hard work during these tough times.