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What's working like for you?

colour portrait photograph of Sian Minns

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.

Sian Minns is a Change and Continuous Improvement Officer with the Planning and Strategy Office. The team provides support to change management initiatives across the University whilst helping to understand the impacts of change.

We asked Sian how the lockdown had affected her work:

“Having worked in the private sector, where working from home was a normal part of my working week, the thought of working from home in this role excited me. I was, therefore, a bit surprised that I actually felt slightly uncomfortable with the new situation. I thought about why I was not enjoying this, despite telling colleagues it was like my previous roles and that I was happy doing it. I found it was my choice being taken away, if I want some human interaction, I can’t decide to have a face-to-face meeting: I have to stay home. I grappled with this for a couple of weeks and found my restlessness has lessened through reaching out to others when they are struggling in their new environment too. Being able to share my experience in remote working is something that has really helped me as well as the other person.

“I live with two grown up children and with us all in the house and it can feel rather restricted and busy! So I head out in the early morning for a long walk on my own. Some days I head on to Whiteknights campus to take in the fresh air and the sights of nature, reassuringly carrying on, bursting with new life in both flora and fauna. The campus does seem a little strange without the hustle and bustle but at the same time it hasn’t changed and is an energising place to be before heading home to start work for the day. Amongst other routes, I head out over the motorway bridge toward Shinfield where the British Museum buildings are going up and then further to TVSP to see what’s happening there. I am excited to see the sign saying ‘coming soon Cine Valley’. These ventures are also reassuring since I can see we, as a University, are investing and in partnership with business in the local community and also people who live locally.

“Despite us all having to hit the ground running with our remote working and losing our physical location on campus I have a real feeling we are all in it together We are all working on our projects, pursuits or new responsibilities that come with these extraordinary times and we are all in it together. We are very lucky to have technological and human networks, we can make things work. It feels like there is always time for someone to share their worries with a colleague and allows them to feel better about their situation. The University community is my adult company every day since I have no family close by and my partner and I don’t live together. So, thanks for being there.”

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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