With the prospect of going back to the office slowly approaching, there will have been lots of skills you will have developed from the fire fighting you’ve had to do in your home and work life. Some will be especially useful to employers as they will also have encountered some of the same scenarios and will need extra ideas if their business is going to stay afloat.
Here’s what you will have achieved amidst six weeks of squirrelling away:
1. How to Communicate with Others Virtually.
Although Skype and Teams previously existed, we’re communicating virtually on a scale never encountered before. Apart from our household and supermarket security, every person we’ve communicated with has been virtually. We’ve been quick to understand what’s our best light, what we should be wearing in meetings and how to get our point across faced with a large number of people in the 'room' all vying for attention.
2. How to Deal with Boredom.
8 weeks have been spent in one place. That's 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And that is DULL. To deal with this, we’ve had to find new ways to fill our time, whether it's starting to learn to sew, writing a memoir or planting our own vegetable garden. Boredom is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and that's what you will have achieved!
3. How to Work with a Variety of Distractions and Constraints.
For a lot of you, who have to juggle work, and looking after children and the household, lockdown has been tough. Your can't just sit down and work when you like, in the normal confines of a 9 to 5 day, and you may not even have space for your work to take place.
For those in work without these demands, we’ve had to work around other people's schedules and occasionally held the fort.
This ability to concentrate on a task when needed and when the opportunity arises is a great skill to have as it means that you can manage your time effectively and efficiently, and are able to keep multiple lives under control.
4. How to Get Along with People in a New Way.
Being cooped up in a small environment can certainly cause tempers to fray, and this is especially true if the people you live with aren’t your family, partner or closest friends. Everyone has found it tough - there’s extra stresses and strains of a lack of money and worries about whether you will be returning to work - and we’ve had to be more understanding of other people’s needs. This experience will help us see a situation from someone else’s point of view, be more sympathetic and consider other people before acting on decisions. Traits which we can continue to put to good use!
5. How to Plan for an Uncertain Future.
Regardless of whether your lockdown is actually going quite swimmingly, we are all facing an uncertain future. When will we be returning to the office, what will a return look like, when will we be living in a world that looks remotely like 2019 did? Being able to keep your head in times of uncertainty helps develop your resilience and adaptability - traits that are going to be sought after by employers in the coming months and that you can put to good use in the workplace.
6. How to Keep a Brave Face, Stay Positive, and Keep Going.
Lockdown has helped us to understand that even after our lives have been turned upside down, we can still continue. We may have had some setbacks along the way, a re-configuring of our lives, or moments when we found it tough to keep going, but we have managed to get through all this. Once again, these traits, of self-management, discipline, motivation, will be sought after by employers when we re-enter the workplace.
7. A Personal Goal.
If you were someone with too much time on your hands during lockdown, you might have achieved something personal to you. This could be learning Adobe Photoshop, picking up a guitar, learning to cook or getting everything on your DIY list ticked off. You may also have cherished moments you wouldn’t otherwise have encountered, such as the thrill when you child finally understands fractions!
8. The Ability to Reset and Rethink your Life.
A change of both pace and place can often help us consider what we really want from our lives. Was the daily commute actually a long slog? Do you not actually enjoy the work you do, just the people you work with? Have you a new-found hobby you'd rather be doing 9 to 5 than your day job? Slowing life down has meant that these questions about what matters most in our lives have come to the fore and now is the time to act on them.