I started working from home in March along with hundreds of other staff, with just a laptop at the dining room table.
I live with chronic pain, so I thought working from home would be really beneficial. Which it is, but sitting on a dining room chair for nine hours a day started to take its toll. I took for granted walking up the corridor, catching up with colleagues, moving around often which really helped with my pain management.
At the beginning I really felt I wasn’t making a difference, when my friends and colleagues were working on the frontline.
I actively looked for ways to help. I spent some time ringing around to patients for Rheumatology changing their onsite appointments to telephone appointments. It was nice to speak to patients, putting their minds at rest that they were still going to be looked after, albeit not face to face. I also helped HR contacting staff working from home or shielding, along with my manager Jocelyn. Again, really nice to let staff know that they hadn’t been forgotten about and that the Trust valued them helping keep everyone safe by staying home.
This was the pick-me-up I needed, along with getting my office chair, a monitor and keyboard. This has made such a difference to my working life and managing my pain.
I am working harder, with less breaks and I have to be mindful about this to make sure I have a good balance. I will never complain about having to walk over to the NU building in the rain for a meeting again!
As a team, we work very closely in the office and have worked hard in ensuring this hasn’t been lost whilst working from home. I have a morning and afternoon catch up with my direct team, we then have a morning catch up with the whole team, all on MS Teams – we try and make these fun, even though we are busy. Socially, we have also ensured we have kept this up. We have a quiz night every Friday night via Zoom, which has been great fun, as well as other quizzes throughout the weeks.
I have been so proud of what the IM&T department have done to support the Trust, staff going above and beyond, ensuring that patients can be looked after safely, that Trust staff can still do their day-to-day work either onsite or at home.
Although myself, along with rest of The Digital Transformation Team, have been working from home, some of the team have still been active in the main hospital site:
- helping the Trust take account of the hardware across the whole of the estate
- tracking all the phones and updating the directory
- supporting our clinical staff in training of CPL on the wards
- supporting moves of departments such as ED Minors over to Nuffield
- calling our end users to check if their IT calls were still required to support the impact of COVID
- ensuring our teams across the Trust have everything they needed.
They have undertaken jobs and tasks which they wouldn’t normally do with positivity and modesty.
We have adapted quickly and some of us have had a few wobbles, but we have supported each other amazingly. We have even celebrated birthdays virtually and a lot of thought has gone into trying to make these unique and special for the person receiving their ‘virtual’ birthday card.
I feel incredibly lucky to be part of such a special, caring team.
Mechelle Rowe, IM&T Business Change Manager