2020 03 20 — Weeknotes
2.11 — what a week — our response to Covid-19…
Well what a week… And very late this week with the weeknotes… apologies…
It has really been a bit of a bonkers week, and that is the word that I keep using to describe where we are. I appreciate it doesn’t describe the fast paced nature of the situation, the concern, the seriousness, the worry and so on — but with everything this week, I think it fits.
So this last week has seen the very best in people and also the very worst. I have been impressed how my team have pulled together and responded so positively over the week, when things have really rapidly changed.
The Council has leapt into action, with well rehearsed plans, but has had to be flexible, agile and innovative in these unprecedented times.
But seeing the shelves bare, people panic buying toilet rolls or groups of people ignoring the advice that has been given, has been really upsetting to watch.
For me, it feels I have done nothing else but activities relating to the coronavirus for well over a week — already feels so long ago. I generally consider myself, ‘up for change’, but this week has been a test even for me, changing and conflicting priorities, a diary that constantly changes, trying to juggle lots of conflicting priorities with scarce resource, making sure the team are connected and safe, keeping the lights on, thinking about what we need for the future and trying to think about next week and the week after.
My team have been amazing, ensuring that the organisation can work at home, whilst being one of the first teams sent home at the end of last week in order to protect critical services. In a very short period of time we had sprung into action to ensure we had the capacity and resilience for home working; increased the device refresh project; rolled out devices / mobile phones; trained people; written documentation and much more….
We had our all Digital & IT staff, Show and Tell this week, where we spend 15 mins going over where we are with everything. One of the team this week, who is likely to have to work at home for a period went through some hints and tips for working at home and looking after your mental health. It was awesome! We have over 60 people attend the video conference…
Some of his tips:
- Dynamic & Changing Daily — but that’s OK
- Establish a daily routine
- Sort your working environment
- Time-Slip/Distortion — easy to get drawn into work
- Family Commitments — don’t forget them
- Extended periods working from home
- Being Social — Staying connected when remote
- Mental & Health Wellbeing/Support is available
OH! AND… Exciting News (nearly forgot! How can I foget?)…. On Tuesday, Cabinet approved the Digital Strategy for Hounslow for 2020–25!! Yay! Read more about it with the Press Release. With everything going on this week, it has been easy to overlook it. But even this week, Digital in it’s widest sense has been at the very centre of the Council’s response to the pandemic. We had nearly 1200 members of staff working at home on Friday, twice the usual amount, and it all worked perfectly… 😊
OH and in other news this week I passed my 6 month probation — 6 months! 6 months…6… months… 6 months? Wow… I can’t wait for the next 6…
I feel over the next few weeks the fish are going to become staring members of the weeknotes (not much else at the moment to take a picture of). I have tried to maintain a routine this week where I can at least and have had lunch away from the upstairs office. So it has been great to have lunch and watch them swim away. Six new additions to the tank last week — guppies, they appear to have settled into the tank well.
Tune of the week — with thanks to Kim Steady — who works in Adult Social Care in Hounslow… We had an exchange of emails one evening, in between sorting out a range of things where we have sorted options for the tune of the week for the next couple of months. It was a very much needed distraction to everything else! Thank you…