Lockdown Easing and Office Reopening
30 June 20  /  Covid-19

As we look to reopen the office and strive to return to regular office hours in a safe working environment, we quiz our staff on their experiences and thoughts around lockdown and getting back to work...

Dan Weston:

Have you learnt any new skills during lockdown?
Not a brand new one, but started playing golf again after a good few years. The nice weather encouraged the urge to get out again and the garden has come in useful.

What’s at the top of your list that you can’t wait to do once lockdown has ended?
Enjoy a round of golf where you can use the 19th hole and be able to visit vibrant cities like London, without any restrictions.

Has lockdown changed any attitudes you previously held?
My attitude towards some aspects of work has changed. I have realised that some of the work I do is unnecessary, too many emails about unimportant things. Being forced to fit Childcare into my schedule has meant a reframe of what is important to do in the business and what isn’t. My focus has been improved.  

What have you missed most about working in the office?
I miss putting a newly ironed shirt on with freshly polished shoes and that feeling you are going to accomplish a lot in the office that day.

Is there anything unexpected you have gained from lockdown?
I was never one for spending lots of time at home, as always busy and out. I have enjoyed being around the house more and think this will remain post lockdown. A slower pace of life has been appreciated.  

What have you found the hardest aspect of lockdown?
Childcare, 100%! The challenge of two full time working parents, a toddler and a teenager has been very tiring at times.



Peter Bird:

Have you learnt any new skills during lockdown?
With time on my hands I have used lockdown to blow the dust off Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a domestic goddess” and bake her dense chocolate cake.
Prior to this I tried a chocolate cake recipe off the internet and failed to read it properly; resulting in the cake mix boiling over the oven floor! Taking the first tin out of the oven, I burned my hand, and dropped it in a spectacular fashion over the oven door and floor!

I decided it was not cooked enough, so baked the second tin a bit more, resulting in a cake which could have been used to make car tyres.
The cake I scrapped off the oven floor was reasonably good, so it was not a complete failure.
For the next cake I followed the Nigella recipe to the letter, and produced a brilliant chocolate cake that goes well with raspberries, so by association, it is healthy eating!

The lesson is…… always read the details first! Nothing changes in life; even in lockdown!



Giedre Azukaite:

I have to admit that I was not an exception and I had some really tough moments during this period. But I took this as a possibility to stop and overthink where I am going in my life.  

As we were working from home, I didn’t have any excuses to miss my morning meditation and I really enjoyed those slow mornings.  

I haven’t gained any new skills and I haven’t learned another language, but I enjoyed reading books, watching movies, listening to webinars and podcasts about wellbeing, plus walking around Witney lake.  

I even have started running! Now I’m really looking forward to having more social life, be around other people, have live conversations, hopefully to see my family this year and attend my friend’s wedding.



George Wagerfield:

Have you learnt any new skills during lockdown?  
At the start of lockdown I had a week off and decided to have a go at photography, it is something that I have always wanted to look into, but never managed to have the time. It really draws your attention to how beautiful our little corner of the world is. I would argue I have not yet learnt this skill, but certainly one I am looking to develop.

What’s at the top of your list that you can’t wait to do once lockdown has ended?  
Have a Skater Hockey training session and catching up with my teammates. After playing every week for the past 20 years, I have been without this for lockdown and prior to that I was suffering an injury.



Christine Walker:

What’s at the top of your list that you can’t wait to do once lockdown has ended?
A visit to my hairdresser will be top of my list and a Mr Whippy 99 Ice Cream with a flake in it but not at the same time! Lockdown is not going to just end, it will be a gradual process and hopefully without a second or third lockdown, so it will be lovely to just feel free to be able to do the things we used to do without having to think.

Has lockdown changed any attitudes you previously held?
It has shown me how communities have come together to help each other and so much kindness has been shown. Before Lockdown we were all too busy with our own lives that we rarely noticed others and this seems to have changed and I hope that it will continue.

What have you missed most about working in the office?
Just being with others, seeing, hearing and being in the presence of others and seeing our wonderful clients.

Is there anything unexpected you have gained from lockdown?
I have loved being able to walk, take time to look at the trees, flowers and to listen to the birds. I have felt a sense of being in the moment, an inner peace.

What have you found the hardest aspect of lockdown?
Like most people not being able to see family and friends and especially our granddaughter.



Ryan Hambridge:

Have you learnt any new skills during lockdown?
I haven’t learnt any new skills, other than stuff I have picked up in the 1000 quizzes I have done.

What’s at the top of your list that you can’t wait to do once lockdown has ended?
Top of my list is to either get to the pub with my mates or back to sports/gym.

Has lockdown changed any attitudes you previously held?
I have changed my attitude to get out and do more stuff outdoors when this is over, I do sports anyway but more holidays abroad and such.

What have you missed most about working in the office?
What have I missed most – the team to speak to each day and my desk to work on rather than my dining room table!

Is there anything unexpected you have gained from lockdown?
I haven’t gained anything unexpected, but I have unexpectedly lost around 5kg in weight 😊 mostly from not going to the gym.

What have you found the hardest aspect of lockdown?
Hardest part of lockdown is not to get out and see people and communicate face-to-face.



Vicki Smith:

What have you found the hardest aspect of lockdown?  
I’ve really missed having segregation in my life. Trying to work, home school, socialise online, exercise, all from your home can become tedious and certain things such as exercise have been skipped!

What’s at the top of your list that you can’t wait to do once lockdown has ended? 
I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends and can’t wait to hug everyone.

Is there anything unexpected you have gained from lockdown?  
I’ve discovered my Cocker Spaniel, Luna, isn’t always keen for a walk! Luna only has enthusiasm for two walks a day, anything above this is met with a sigh and eye roll!



Clare Mullet:

What’s at the top of your list that you can’t wait to do once lockdown has ended?
I can’t wait to get my haircut and see my family and friends.

What have you missed most about working in the office?
Office banter with my colleagues.

Is there anything unexpected you have gained from lockdown?
Baking with my boys, my garden and a love for running again.

Next Article
Mathews Comfort welcomes back clients to North Leigh offices
05 August 20  /  Covid-19