Recent research by the meditation app HeadSpace shows that while most of us wouldn’t follow the lockdown lifestyle by choice, 85% of us have been able to take positives from it.

In this blog, we look at the positive effect lockdown has had on our ways of working, and choose some lockdown strategies we’ll be taking with us as life slowly returns to normal.

1. We’re all human

A challenge lockdown has presented is that of managing our lives when everything is under one roof. Most of us are working in homes we share with partners, spouses, children, pets, housemates, parents. So when it’s the Monday GetAheadVA team social and some of us have got our children on our knees and our dogs barking in the background, what we all remember is that we’re all human, we all have lives outside of work and that’s why we work at all. That’s an outlook that we’ll be keeping with us as the world opens up again –  we’ll all be more sympathetic when others don’t present the corporate image we used to expect, in turn feeling more relaxed about being who we really are.

2. Good self-discipline

Continuing on the theme of working from home, we should be valuing the self-discipline that we may have adopted without realising it! Among the VAs, a pattern has emerged: those of us with teenagers who sleep in get up early in the morning and get our work done before our offspring surface. Those with younger children work use nap times and evenings to get on top of things. And those without children carry on as normal! We organise Zoom meetings around our families so that we can give both our full attention as required. The result, as we hope you’ve noticed, is that we achieve a better work/life balance and (nearly!) everything gets done.

3. Healthy body, healthy mind

Looking after our health has also required self-discipline. With gyms and fitness classes closed, it’s up to us to fit our exercise into our working weeks. Many of us have worked exercise into our regular timetables and are really seeing how much it’s helped both our physical and emotional wellbeing. We’ll be emerging from lockdown healthier than we went in – this is a healthy habit that’s here to stay.

4. You can’t pour from an empty cup

Never has looking after our mental health been so important, and lockdown could be the shake-up in mental health awareness that the world has been waiting for. There are sensible articles in the mainstream press about not reading the news if it upsets you, about going outside and taking even light exercise to get the endorphins going. There are beautiful stories about people reconnecting after periods of separation, and about enjoying the simpler life and doing a bit of baking. We’re looking after our mental health during lockdown because our families, our work and ourselves will crumble if we don’t. But we’re also establishing good habits for a healthier future – let’s keep them up!

5. A sense of proportion

We are living through a global pandemic. This is history in the making. This is life and death. What is not life and death is the meeting that could have been a quick email, the time-bound blog that’ll be obsolete a day after publication, that webinar that we signed up to for all the wrong reasons. Were we spending time doing things that don’t actually help our businesses? And have we stopped doing them now we’ve gained a new sense of proportion? Yes and yes. So here’s to a future of efficient, streamlined working!

No experience is ever wasted – the experience of lockdown has shown us how to change for the better,  And if you’ve re-evaluated during lockdown and think it’s time for something new, read our blog about flexible working here.

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