Here’s the most important working lessons we’ve learnt in a year since lockdown started

Last week, we hit a year since the start of the first national lockdown due to the Covid pandemic. 12 months later and we are finally on our way out, but our everyday lives have been forever shifted, in some ways for the better, and other ways arguably for the worst. As we look towards some semblance of normality, we reflect on the biggest changes in the fashion and professional industry that have forever shaped our everyday.

We made our home our office. Perhaps the biggest unanimous shift we have all experienced is adapting to working from home. What seemed to be at first an impossible task is now one we’ve all got used to, and the thought of commuting again five days a week seems like a pretty difficult task.

Priorities were shifted. With working from home, we had to consider a work/life balance in more ways than ever before. Switching off has been something we’ve all had to consciously do, as we realise there is more to life than a 9 to 5.

The high street shifted to online. Over the past twelve months, the high street has suffered the loss and casualty of some of our most famous retailers. With Debenhams, Topshop and Miss Selfridge no longer having a physical presence, and John Lewis announcing the closure of many stores, the impact of our favourite brands being forced to shut their doors for over half of the past year has been sadly irreversible. 

Furlough became a part of our everyday jargon. Another word many of us hadn’t used until last April? ‘Furlough’. The government has fortunately managed to preserve many jobs through this scheme, which has now been extended until the end of September 2021.

We realised that there’s more than instant gratification. Over the past twelve months, life has slowed down for us all massively. In a world where we could have anything almost immediately at the touch of a button, things suddenly changed, and we learnt to appreciate the small things.

Technology prevailed. Remember the days when the word ‘Zoom’ wasn’t a part of our daily discourse? Us neither. However much we complain about video calls and a constant world of still reminding someone ‘they’re on mute’, the past year would have been a lot harder if it wasn’t for being able to virtually connect.

A walk became one of the most therapeutic things we can so. In life before, many of us became accustomed to the desk lunch, not taking a well-earned screen break. Now, with daily walks becoming somewhat of a solace for the majority of us, that hour a day (and well-needed steps) has become one of the most productive hours of our week.

We hold more tolerance than we ever realised. As well as being employees, a lot of us have had to become teachers over the past year, with our children working from home. Keeping that in order, as well as our professional priorities has been a battle, but we’re extremely proud of ourselves. 

We are our own priority. With the tragic effects of the past year not only on the retail industry, but also within hospitality, many have lost their jobs. This has led us all to reprioritise ourselves and our own happiness, time with loved ones, and most importantly time for ourselves.