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What's working like for you?

colour portrait photograph of Rachel Walker

The coronavirus lockdown has changed the way we work individually, with our own teams and with other teams at the University. Whether we are working from home or are working on the campus, each of us is adapting in our own way to these changed circumstances. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we will share the experience of some of our colleagues.

Rachel Walker is a Research Development Manager within Research & Enterprise Services. The team provides research development support in finding funding sources and developing grant applications with research colleagues.

We asked Rachel how the lockdown had affected her work:

“My role is split about in half by working at my desk and being in meetings with research colleagues. So not being able to walk across campus and knock on someone’s door to discuss any issues that might arise is a disadvantage. We’re using online alternatives but some people find the medium awkward and it is difficult to recreate informal meetings this way.

“Working with my immediate team has been easier but we’ve had to be sensitive around sharing workload and people’s availability. I have two young children and am having to share my time between work and child-care so timing of meetings or phone calls can sometimes be difficult. Many people are in a similar situation so there is understanding of this within the team. My line manager has been especially good about supporting flexible working.

“That’s not to say this is all negative, having to balance work and home life has led me to be a lot more focused in, for example, making quick decisions and prioritising effectively. But I’d rather see my colleagues in person and miss walking around the lake or going for a cuppa with them.”

To enable as many people as possible to share their experience the Internal Communications team has developed a storyboard, so if you’d like to take part, contact the Internal Communications team and a member of the team will guide you through the process. These will form a series of articles on what new ways of working have been like for colleagues as well as offering practical advice, hints and tips on how to manage this.

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