A marathon, not a sprint

19th May 2020 | posted in News

My last blog was written in the second week of lockdown and then, like the rest of the country, we were all still getting used to this new way of working.

Teams, Zoom and Ring Central were just words back then but have now all become vital tools in the way we communicate with each other, along with more established apps such as Skype, FaceTime etc.

They have enabled us to stay in touch with our staff, board members, contractors, and the wider world in general, including our families and loved ones.

I have also used my lock-down time to get back into exercise. In 2006, I completed the Great North Run so one of the first things I did when I started working from home was to do the couch to 5K programme and I am pleased to say that I am now running five times a week and I have also bought a bike!

With restrictions now gradually being lifted, talk has turned to what life will be like in the ‘new normal’.

Will we all return to working alongside each other in offices again? What is it going to be like eating in a restaurant? How will going on holiday change? Will we go to the cinema again now we can watch so much via streaming services in our own homes?

Lots of questions. And most still to be answered.

From an organisational perspective, we have started taking our first steps back. This has included surveying our staff to find out how they feel about returning to work in the office, or if they prefer home working.

How an office full of staff will look like in the future is something we are now all wrestling with but with smarter working practices, I suspect it will be very different.

From a customers’ point of view, I am pleased to say that we have resumed normal lettings, although ensuring that everyone remains safe during this process and adheres to social distancing guidelines, including installing key safes at our empty properties.

We have also had the go-ahead to resume our planned maintenance programme, initially focusing on external work or essential work such as boiler replacements and the installation of new fire doors. We will hopefully soon also reintroduce responsive repairs.

We wouldn’t have been able to achieve anything over the past two months without the amazing support of our staff. I am delighted with how quickly they adapted and I want to thank them for responding so positively.

I mentioned returning to exercise earlier so I will conclude by saying it’s definitely going to be a marathon rather than a sprint when it comes to operating in this post Covid-19 world, but it still feels great to be running again!

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