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Lockdown silver linings

Tue 4th Aug 20

Every cloud has a silver lining and, while we’re still very much in the middle of some very challenging times, it’s important to find the positives and to celebrate them. Time spent with family, the ability to hear and see more of the natural world on our doorsteps and the return of community spirit are just a few of the plus points we can list off without really thinking.

During our time working from home, we’ve encouraged the teams to share their thoughts and personal experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that we can refine the solutions we’ve put in place for them and for our customers. The exercise has had some great side effects and discovering the silver linings of lockdown is one of them. Here are some examples from across the Ryan’s teams…

Outdoor time

While Sue Chaplin on our Beach Hut team has been working at home in her study, she’s been spending her daily commute time in the garden or walking her dogs whenever she can.

“I don’t miss the commute across Ipswich at all. Much nicer to wind down in my garden than in a hot car for sure. Aren’t we lucky the weather’s been so good over the last few months!"

Meanwhile, Claims Manager, Nathan Harvey agrees that it’s been nice not having the commute into work every day. He’s used his time savings to exercise, relax and to start work earlier. He's done loads in the house and the garden. Plus, with the weather being kind, he’s been BBQing…A LOT and even at lunchtime! Nathan says that seeing how long his hair can get in three months has been interesting, as well!

Nathan Harvey claims manager bbqing his lunch!
Nathan Harvey claims manager BBQing his lunch!

Outdoor time has also been high on the hit list for Sales Manager, Katrina Boyle.

“We have discovered some fabulous walks on our doorstep, so uplifting. I’m loving the family time and the down time in the garden. My fingers have never been greener…I grew plants!”

Exercise

Clare Beal from the Private Clients team has taken up running to claim some ‘me time’ and clear her head. When asked about the positives of working from home and lockdown in general, as well as the excellent exercise she’s taken up, she told us:

“There have been lots! My daughter has never seen her daddy so much. He has been furloughed so on my days off we have enjoyed lovely family days together. We’ve decorated the house, purchased new cookbooks, made a fairy garden, my daughter has learnt to ride a bike and we've found many new walks.”

Back to basics

Clare continues: “Another positive is the money saving. I have learnt that I don’t need to ‘pop’ into the supermarket every day on the way to work and there are so many things you can do that do not cost a penny.”

Julie from the Beach Hut team has many positives, too…

“I have had some really lovely conversations with our customers – it has been so nice to chat to people about their huts and their experiences of lockdown."

Family time

Julie’s also spent time with her family… “It has been nice spending time with my dad, working from home has meant he has had company while shielding at home and I haven’t had to worry about him being lonely. My work has given a structure to our day, which I think has helped us both.

I also like the fact that I get a little bit more time to relax in the evening as I no longer have to travel home from work!”

Contact counts

Finally, as well as some new IT skills, our MD Robin Belsom says that, for him, perhaps the most valuable positive outcome is learning how important one to one contact is with other people.

That’s the feeling from our youngest team member, Charlie Smith, too, who says: “The biggest challenge for me has been not being able to talk to my colleagues face to face.”

And we think we’re all in agreement. While we’ve discovered many silver linings, we’re looking forward to getting back to the office for more regular contact with our colleagues at work.

You can read more about our teams’ back to work stories here.