Day 25: ‘In situations like this, a holiday isn’t to explore far flung places, but to be selective over how available you are and break away from being a slave to email’

Contributor: Jennifer:

This is a chance to break away from being a slave to work emails

We have had a couple of days spending the bank holiday for the things that we need – a bit of quiet from the outside worlds event and time to focus on what we need. 

With everyone in a state of lockdown, people are looking to connect in different ways – in WhatsApp, through phone calls, texts; and at points it has felt with all these groups that there is a pressure to be constantly connected to people. This is a pressure echoed by work – as we are all working from home (and not as yet furloughed) there is an element of trust that you are working; and to feel like you have to be shown to be constantly accessible and responding to emails and Teams chatter. As a new starter, there is also that additional pressure of showing who you are as a character and being able to add something to the conversation.  During a group meeting before Easter, we were encouraged to consider using our leave during this time and not to just save it up until we return – an idea which at first, I thought was a daft suggestion but one now I am starting to consider. Maybe the way that holiday is viewed needs to change in situations like this – that the holiday isn’t to go and explore or travel to far flung places, but an opportunity to be selective over how available you are, and to have a break away from the self-discipline of being a slave to the email/Teams. 

Today, I caught up with my friends from school – the ones I had the group chat with a few weeks ago. Growing up we have cooked together as a social event and today was no different, except it was held through Zoom. It was an interesting mix of Wi-Fi dropping out and several 40-minute meetings later we have a ‘group prepared’ meal. The inane chatter of what we had been up to in recent days, what we have been able to find in the shops (or not, as the case may be) and the distractions of trying to follow a new recipe were reminiscent of the teen years and a reminder that not much has changed – we could have almost been in the room together. The hunt is now on for next week’s recipe…

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