• Question: how did covid affect you and your job?

    Asked by acme499sty on 15 Feb 2024.
    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 15 Feb 2024:

      I discovered that my job can totally be done working from home. We weren’t able to do face-to-face events, so we had to come up with new ways to share research with the world. I also found trying to homeschool two children and work full time and keep on top of domestic stuff overwhelming. On the plus side, I am now working hybrid and it is a much more normal part of work.

    • Photo: Viviene Dela Cruz

      Viviene Dela Cruz answered on 15 Feb 2024:

      Luckily, I got it when I was working with a group of understanding scientists. I am an experimental scientist/engineer and half of my work is done in the lab. Because of covid, I couldn’t go in the lab to do experiments. However, it made me realise that it is possible to work as an experimental scientist in a healthy environment and sometimes I can work from home even though I have experiments 🙂

    • Photo: Erin Pallott

      Erin Pallott answered on 15 Feb 2024:

      The Covid pandemic started as I finished university. The covid testing labs opened that year, and since I did a biology degree, I was invited to work there among with hundreds of other scientists.
      So I was one of the few people were Covid actually gave me MORE work. I was testing all of the throat and nose swabs that came in.

    • Photo: Cliff Williams

      Cliff Williams answered on 16 Feb 2024:

      Fortunately for me COVID did not have a great impact on my work. Because of the nature of my role I was designated as a ‘Key’ worker. Many of the customers that I work with are also involved in ‘critical infrastructure’ producing clean drinking water, or electricity. Others sectors I can be involved with are pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, NHS etc. So I was kept pretty busy and went out quite a bit.
      One good thing was that the roads were pretty quite, so I didn’t get held up in any traffic jams. But it was pretty spooky stopping at a motorway service station, which was just about deserted and the only thing open was the toilets. Also whilst working away it became very difficult to find hotels where we could stay.
      COVID did result in a lot of extra paper work. We required all the customers that we visited to complete a COVID survey, showing that they were free of infections and detailing what measures they had put in place. Likewise they required us to submit additional COVID risk assessments.
      Some things were rather strange, like working with a colleague all day but not being able to see them in the evenings or even eat our dinner together.
      However, all in all, I think I was pretty lucky. Getting out and about, meeting with customers and colleagues etc. was far more pleasant than being confined to my own home. And above all, feeling that I was able to really contribute something useful.

    • Photo: Paul Laurance-Young

      Paul Laurance-Young answered on 16 Feb 2024:

      Massively as a lecturer and BMS!
      Our course was classified as “Protected” so practicals had to happen face to face, while covid ripped through the students. Being Biomedical Science students they would also volunteer in the covid testing labs as much as possible (a great help as covid nearly broke pathology!).
      As a BMS, we had so many staff off with it and so many machines in use.. it was a horrible time..

    • Photo: Marianne Morris

      Marianne Morris answered on 16 Feb 2024:

      Covid has completely changed the way my business operates. Prior to 2020, all employees would work from a Site or an office with almost no working from home. When the first lockdown happened, overnight we had to find a way to continue working but remotely. Not everyone had laptops or remote login access so it took some time to get things into a position for a lot of people to be able to contribute.
      Now I still work from home most days – the business closed the office I used to work from and has opened a ‘hub’ which is designed for hot-desking. The expectation is that everyone brings their laptop in and takes it away at the end of the day. I only go in once a week to meet with my team but otherwise I collaborate with others via Microsoft Teams. I actually prefer working from home – I’ve regained a couple of hours each day that I no longer spend commuting. This means I use my car a lot less, which is great for the environment, and I get to walk my kids to school every day instead of dropping them off at a breakfast club. The use of Teams also means I’m actually more connected to my colleagues at other sites as we can set up meetings and make calls a lot more conveniently and see each other on the screen.

    • Photo: Priscilla Tng

      Priscilla Tng answered on 17 Feb 2024:

      I was fortunate because I was doing important experiments at that time, so I continued going to work to finish them. However, it was very quiet during those days. The roads and labs were empty, and scientists took turns coming to the lab. When I wasn’t in the lab, I used the time to write up my PhD thesis. So, because of Covid, I had the time to complete my PhD.

    • Photo: Nik Robinson

      Nik Robinson answered on 19 Feb 2024:

      I have two roles 50% working with a trade association, 50% workign as an independant consultant. Consultancy work dried up during lock-down because businesses weren’t really doing anything new, which is usually when they need my help, but the trade association work went up, because people found it more important to keep in touch with colelagues and peers in the industry.

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 19 Feb 2024:

      Covid meant that myself and research students couldn’t get into the lab to do our experiments. I managed to work on a whole but of calculations using my home computer. But other than that, we did nothing for most of a year spread over a two year period.

    • Photo: Emma Singleton

      Emma Singleton answered on 19 Feb 2024:

      We went from working in the office to working from home, which was a strange at the time, but we soon got used to it! I work in construction, so our projects continued because construction sites were still allowed to be operational during covid.

    • Photo: Alexander de Bruin

      Alexander de Bruin answered on 20 Feb 2024:

      it changed the way we worked in the lab a bit, and forced us to try out new options like Teams and Zoom for meetings that we would previously have travelled for. Where I work we were classified as a “key industry” and so our labs didn’t close even during the first lockdown. What the pandemic did cause me to realise is how much I enjoy some of the paperwork bits of my job that I didn’t know I liked, which put me on track to my current role managing people and projects while not doing lab work myself

    • Photo: Thomas Swift

      Thomas Swift answered on 20 Feb 2024:

      It was awful.
      I found COVID really stressful – I had a newborn daughter 1 month before lockdown – and we were completely isolated and alone.

      I run a laboratory doing experiments that ‘need’ you to be in person to do them – but we couldn’t enter the lab for a full 6 months – so the team got no work done. I am responsible for raising money that pays some colleagues salary which we couldn’t extend so their contracts ran out and they had to leave the lab having made no progress or got much work done.

      Teaching moved to online only so we couldn’t get to know our students. Working in a small university I usually get to know our students vey well but a whole class of students passed through out university who I barely ever met in person. It made me really depressed as its not at all what I was used to or enjoy about my work.

      Things are a lot better now. I’d say we’re 90% back to normal, but it’s taken a large toll on everyone.

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 26 Feb 2024:

      I used to do a lot of science and education in person (going into labs to do experiments, going to schools to give talks, running activity days at museums). Now, I do almost everything remotely. I give talks and lessons over Zoom and do activities with what people have in their homes or schools.

      Because a lot of the work I do is with diagnostics and laboratory medicine, COVID-19 had a huge impact. Everyone was focused on testing, monitoring, and researching the SARS-CoV-2 virus. After that, there was a big backlog of normal testing to do. Even now, four years after the pandemic began, a lot of resources go toward understanding, testing, and treating it and all of the long-term effects it may have.

    • Photo: Richard Caines

      Richard Caines answered on 1 Mar 2024: last edited 1 Mar 2024 12:18 pm

      My job means that I am always working on or with live construction sites. As such, even when the country locked down, my projects still continued! Covid-19 had a major impact on all types of construction projects. Materials got more expensive, building took much longer and meeting people became much more difficult. However, even though it was difficult, I am grateful I was still able to go out and work and meet with people, as not everyone was able to!