Lockdown reflections: building back better

This 'Wellbeing at Work' blog for our corporate supporters looks at ways you can use creative and agile working as lockdown is lifted.

We’ve all heard that doing something kind for others is a great way to help you feel better. As you’ll see from the stories we shared last week as part of the Big Blue Thank you, many of our staff would agree. We’ve been inspired by staff, volunteers and supporters going above and beyond to use their creativity and capacity to keep children in Scotland safe and connected during lockdown.

If you’re looking for ways to keep that community spirit going amongst your staff, do get in touch with us. We have projects across Scotland that need your help right now, as well as our national projects like our helpline and digital support service Parentline, which has seen a 400% increase in interactions. 

We’re sure there have been many lessons learned from operating in a pandemic about the way we work and what our priorities are, things that work well and things that we want to change. Children 1st are currently surveying our staff with a few simple questions on this topic. We’d love to hear what methods of reflection you’re using.

This week’s tips will look at some adaptations that have been made through necessity that you might want to consider adopting for good.

Today’s tips will look at:

  1. Agile working
  2. An empathetic outlook
  3. Connecting creatively

Agile Working

Thankfully here at Children 1st, we had moved our systems online using Microsoft 365 and Teams well before coronavirus struck, though it has definitely accelerated our adoption of the new technology. We hope our partners were also in a position to adapt quickly to the new reality of socially distanced working, although of course we know this was not an option for many industries. We’ve seen a reduction in travel costs and many teams are telling us they feel more connected than ever.  

Our key phrase for staff during this time has been to ‘do what you can, when you can’. Our colleagues are trusted to get the work done, and we acknowledge the challenges each person is coping with at home. To demand a 9-5 presence online when colleagues are juggling so much could be damaging and ineffective.

While many of us crave the day when we can start meetings with a hug, we’re hopeful that this flexible approach is one we can keep going forward, and the time that would otherwise have been spent on trains or in cars can be used in more valuable ways.

 

An empathetic outlook

This pandemic has created a space for empathy like almost nothing else in generations. This shared experience of a potentially traumatic situation, and the level of public discourse on how people are coping, gives us an opportunity to better understand the situation of others that we may have never had before. A taste of living with a level of fear and anxiety that we are not used to gives us a glimpse into what life is like for people who live this way every day. A reliance on technology to stay connected, or keep working, gives us a greater appreciation for these material things that others just can’t afford to take for granted. And a long time spent coping alone shows just how valuable respectful and supportive relationships are to our wellbeing. We hope this insight is something that people are able to hold on to as life returns to ‘normal’.

 

Connecting Creatively

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – relationships are key! Healthy connections with your communities is a vital part of life. Especially for those still shielding or going through lockdown on their own, the 100+ days we’ve already spent can feel like Groundhog Day. Offering colleagues a way to stay connected can help them let off steam and have some fun, while making sure they know the team is thinking of them. 

Children 1st’s Homemade Olympic Challenge offers a variety of ways to work together towards a goal. This extremely flexible challenge gives your team the chance to compete for a trophy by whichever method suits them best!  So, if your colleagues are missing what should have been a summer of sport, why not invite them to take on this virtual challenge and see if you can claim that trophy?

Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram once you’ve decided what challenge you want to take on. We look forward to hearing your creative ideas!

Fly the flag at the Opening Ceremony…

We’ll be marking what should have been the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday 24th July with a special quiz. Our very own Olympian Kerri-Anne Payne will be co-hosting with Quiz masters extraordinaire, Goose’s Quizzes. Invite your friends and family and sign up now to guarantee your team’s spot.

 

Children 1st are so grateful to all of our corporate partners who have reached out with offers of support and enquiries about what they could do to help protect children across Scotland during this time. Thank you. We have enjoyed producing these blog posts and hope you have found them interesting and enjoyed sharing them with your teams. We will now be reducing their publication to fortnightly but hope that they continue to offer you support while we work together to protect children across Scotland.

Take care and stay safe,

Team Children 1st