The arrival of a global pandemic has had an enormous effect on the way that we work in the UK. In some cases, it’s forced workers to retrain, and to explore other ways to earn a living. In others, some flexibility on the part of employers has allowed skillsets to be transferred in accordance with demand.
Looking Back on Lockdown
Orla is a healthcare assistant at the Transform Hospital Group, a private healthcare provider offering breast enlargements, along with a host of other treatments. She was midway through her training when the pandemic landed. She’s blogged about her experience, during which she went from shadowing the clinic nurse and learning as she went to being furloughed along with millions of other workers in the UK.
With no elective procedures taking place, there was no work for Orla to do – that is, until the company made plans to open the Burcot Hall Hospital in Bromsgrove as a Covid-free ‘cold site’ where cancer and step-down patients could receive treatment. Good news for Orla, who subsequently took up a role as a ward healthcare assistant, and picked up ‘a vast array of skills, including preparing the rooms, admitting patients, scheduling post-op observations, and monitoring fluid intake, all to ensure the patient’s safety and comfort is prioritised throughout their stay[…]’.
Looking Back on Lockdown
A slightly different story comes from Rachel, a former paediatric nurse who made the switch to Transform Hospital Group back in 2017. Her work involved conducting pre-op assessments and post-op checks. After COVID-19 struck, Rachel became a member of a team of on-call nurses, that deals with patients across the UK and Ireland. “The majority of what we do now is carried out by phone or laptop, as we reassess patients and answer their queries this way,” she says in an interview.
Changes in Outlook
There’s nothing like a world-changing pandemic to make everyone reassess the contribution they’re making to the world, and whether they’ve struck the right balance between work and home life. A poll in June found that more than half of workers in the UK have actually enjoyed the lockdown restrictions, with many citing the fact that they have more free time to do the things that they really want to do, and that they have more time for personal reflection, children, and exercise. With working-from home practices likely to persist after the virus has faded away, many Brits are coming to re-evaluate their attitude to work, and whether their current positions are really satisfactory.