It's been 84 years...
Okay we know that it hasn't actually been that long, but this pandemic sure has felt like an age. And whilst things are starting to open up again in the UK, we still find it crazy that what at the time seemed like a short break from the office turned into a full year of working from home. Working during this COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy, and has affected everyone in different ways: some have found a new work/life balance that they may have thought was impossible before, whilst others have felt stunted being home and are itching to return to the office.
Whether you work in your PJs, or wake up at the crack of dawn to exercise – we've all tried new things during this time. Some have gone well (remember when everyone was obsessed with baking banana bread? aaaah delicious), and some haven't (did anyone actually complete any Joe Wicks workouts?). That's why we're sharing 5 things we've learnt whilst working during a pandemic, and how this can help you.
5. Spruce Up Your Work-From-Home Space
From a lot of the interesting virtual Zoom backgrounds you can see on just about any conference call, it's clear that everyone's home environment doesn't always permit them to work as they'd desire. But the space you work in is can really affect your mood and wellbeing, after all you likely spend around a third of your day there. Here's what worked for our colleagues:
"Getting a desk”, before I was sharing with my fiancé and it was hell. Having your own personal space where you know you’ll work to and have was great. Important to have zones." – Daisy
"One of my things for helping with working from home would be a proper work station to work from." – Taylor
"Two Screens, having a desk, mouse and keyboard, as well as plants/ flowers next to my desk really helped me." – Frankie
Whether it's a new desk, some greenery from plants to freshen up the place, or the game changer of having two screens, it's important to carve out a space you can really call yours.
4. It's never too late to start a new hobby
This is the type of cheesy thing you'd expect from a motivational self-help guide, but we really stand by this. With less time commuting, or physically meeting up, there's plenty of time to get stuck into new hobbies. And you don't actually have to be good at it, you just have to enjoy it.
"I've started painting during the pandemic and also learned how to make things out of clay. This would be my advice to get through the pandemic – start that hobby you never had time for before. You don't even have to be good at it, the goal is just to feel good and forget about work/lockdowns for a few hours." – Diana
"Learning to play guitar would be one new thing for me. Other than that I started doing some fitness exercises at home, cycling after work and since November driving a lot." – Dragos
"I've been lucky enough to pick up skateboarding early in my life and I skate whenever I can and feel like I need time for myself or to relax - skateboarding give me all the above." – Lucas
3. You can still land your dream role
At hackajob, we've had a lot of new joiners during the pandemic, so we know a thing or two about what it's like to start a new role in a time such as this. Whilst you may be worried about onboarding, or getting to know new people, it's absolutely still possible. And there are plenty of tech companies hiring via hackajob currently. It takes just 5 minutes to create a profile here.
"Having a buddy when starting was great. The fact that we went through everything together was so helpful!" – Jazmin
"The onboarding process was great, we also have these 'coffee dates' each week with a different member from the wider team so we get to know more people. It's not quite the 'office cooler chat', but it's actually a great way to build those friendships with people you may not have been able to meet before." – Ehi
2. You can still socialise (online or socially distanced of course)
Whether you're an introvert, extrovert or a mixture of the two – one thing is sure, we as humans are social beings. Whilst some of us may enjoy being in the comfort of our home, the pandemic has really taken the choice away from us to do many of the things we love – from the gym to eating out to meeting friends and family. Work socials are a great way to get out of your own 'bubble'.
"Team socials have been good. I also think the fact we do the weekly all hands and celebrate successes is really good too! It means as a new member of the team you can see how the wider business is doing. Also day to day the instant style of messaging like Slack has helped." – Jazmin
"Having team social elements with our monthly team dinners, and company events like the Superbowl etc were fun. So there is still a normal element." – Taylor
1. Your Health and Wellbeing Matters
Now more than ever, it's clear that our health is really important. Whether you are looking after yourself physically, or mentally, there have been many great initiatives and insights to help us. It's okay to not be okay. We are literally living in a pandemic – life isn't normal, so if you don't feel normal either, that's okay. We've asked some colleagues what helped them during this time:
"Firstly, take a short break after each 2-3 hours of work. Secondly, go outside and get some fresh air at least in the weekend, but respect all the sanitary measures regarding the pandemic situation. And lastly, try to not mix work with other things that may distract you. Stay focused when working and enjoy your free time doing things that make you happy." – Robert
"What I've learned is - a lot of people fall into depression during the pandemic, due to variety of factors but mainly loss of job, not being able to see friends or simply having too much time on their hands making people overthink stuff. What I've learned is that a hobby will keep you happy and going in any circumstances [...]. Find a hobby that makes you express yourself and you will get through the worst possible scenario easily." – Lucas
We hope you've enjoyed our top 5 things that we learned whilst working during a pandemic. What worked for you? Be sure to let us know.