27th March 2020
The past few weeks have been surreal. At a time when the news has been dominated by COVID 19 and working at InterLearn has changed from our ‘norm’ I was determined to turn this negative situation into something more positive. Whilst everything was rapidly changing around me, I knew it was important for me to take responsibility and control of the one thing I was certain about; my reaction and the way I treat others. This moment of self-reflection was the beginning of a journey where I would not only contact those who I haven’t spoken to in a very long time, but one where I would also look at the positive ways in which InterLearn and those around me are responding to COVID 19. I felt it was my mission to share these moments with everyone and with this in mind, I spoke to my Line Manager and suggested that I write a blog on how to ‘cope with COVID 19.’
InterLearn has always had a strong workplace culture, but now more than ever I have started to appreciate the reasons why I love working for this company. The people at InterLearn are amazing! The ‘can do’ attitude was clear to see in a company-wide ‘Teams’ meeting which was held this week and our daily virtual ‘elevenses’, both being a reflection on the efforts made to stay connected. Alongside these wonderful moments of virtual contact internally, members of the team have gone above and beyond to stay in touch with their learners too. Steve Thomas, one of our functional skills tutors has conducted webinars through Microsoft Teams, teaching Southeastern learners about all things maths. Additionally, members of the InterLearn family have been buddying up with LSCs to support with conducting wellbeing calls with all of our learners.
Beyond the workplace, members of the staff have been doing some wonderful things offering help and support for others. Donna, our HR Manager, has told us that her mom, who is in isolation, is knitting hats for premature babies at a local specialist ward. Kim and Lanny, who work in the Marcomms Team, have written letters and cards to elderly residents of a care home to try and help prevent that feeling of loneliness. While various other members of the team have been posting notes to their neighbours offering support and help with shopping and prescriptions.
Team InterLearn has also been sharing ways of looking after themselves as well as others. In an attempt to drop the negative thinking and convert any spare time at home into positive action, a lot of us have been doing activities we would usually avoid! We have heard how some members of the team have been going for a walk in the morning (whilst adhering to social distancing rules, I may add!) replacing their commute in a car with a stroll around the neighbourhood! A good number of the crew have also been cooking more, putting that extra time in the house to good use! Some have moved away from their laptops at lunch and been cooking up a storm, creating some exceptional lunch time meals and focusing on eating healthily and ‘cooking from scratch!’ We have seen a lot of home workouts, where individuals are replacing those dumbbells with tins of soup and ensuring they stay active at the end of the day. Whilst others have started learning new crafts or taking that extra time to reflect on the day and write a journal.
It goes without saying, that we have a difficult time ahead. This feeling of uncertainty can feel suffocating at times. But my experience working at InterLearn and hearing about recent acts of kindness has really given me hope! Witnessing everyone come together has been wonderful and made me realise the powerful effects of staying connected. I have loved seeing how our way of thinking has changed, prompting us to be more creative in the ways we interact with others. I know that when all this ‘blows over’ and life goes back to ‘normality’, our conscious efforts to be kind and stay in touch will remain and we will view life differently and for the better. ❤
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