Lockdown life: key challenges and takeaways from the RedLaw team

The latest on the team's lockdown life: tips to keep connected, new hobbies, helpful apps, fave netflix series and positives from lockdown

We've been interviewing a number of legal professionals to get their take on how the pandemic is impacting them. So, we thought we should put some questions to our very own recruitment team to find out how they are all coping. We asked what has been the hardest challenge adapting to the new life of remote working, what are the positives and key take away's? We'e also shared our top tips, new hobbies, apps and netflix series to hopefully give some inspiration and help with life in lockdown.

The hardest challenge adapting to your ‘new’ lockdown remote working day has been…

Jonathan B: Trying to work and speak to partners of law firms whilst trying to help organise 3 young children whilst my wife is a maths teacher trying to do zoom lessons

Amy: The hardest thing is coping with juggling home schooling and work!

Mark: When your personal life and your work are both under the same roof, it’s so hard to switch off. Initially it was a challenge to get the balance right. Finding a good routine was key to solving that issue.

Ria K: Learning how to make my own coffee every morning. Several cafetiere disasters in those first few days…..

Scarlette: Not having the day to day interaction with the team and the home office set up – I miss not having a proper desk and chair

Jonny: Not having access to a gym

Jasmyn: Missing the physical company of everyone in the office and just being able to have a chat around the coffee machine.

Your biggest take away/lessons learned, personal or professional, from this situation is…

Jonathan B: Everything in life is about attitude – a positive attitude makes all the difference to any situation

Amy: The importance of human connection– colleagues, clients, candidates, everyone really. It’s so important to speak and connect, empathise and energise, in a situation that is new to all of us.

Mark: The biggest lesson that I have learned throughout this difficult period is a simple one, but will live with me forever moving forwards. Whatever life throws at you, adapt. Embrace change and make the most of what comes your way. It is not the strongest or most intelligent that survive, it is those who can manage change.

Ria K: Make time for your own mental well-being. RedLaw have been fantastic with this – it was acknowledged at the outset that working from home (and particularly now) is very different and it may mean that you need to step away from your desk more or head out for a walk mid-morning. There’s no point trying to power through if you’re overwhelmed; take a deep breath, call a colleague/go for a walk/remember that thoughts aren’t facts!!

Scarlette: I will come away feeling blessed to have all of my family and friends healthy and proud to work for a company who have supported us all through the ups and downs

Jonny: Don't pass up opportunities to travel more when they are there

Jasmyn: That you never know what might happen/when things might change so we have to try our best to live in the moment, enjoy the good moments in life and not take the most important things to us for granted.

3 positives to have come out of lockdown are…

Jonathan B: Spending more time with my family without the daily commute; we are really lucky the sun is shining; the planet is healing

Amy: So much appreciation for teachers. Home schooling two kids is seriously hard work, let alone coping with a class of 30; team work and attitude is everything: everyone plays their part in keeping up morale and positivity and working together in such unusual circumstances has made me proud; remote/flexible working is truly possible; communication has been essential, but this will be a game changer for businesses who have not previously embraced it.

Mark: I have really enjoyed having dinner with my three children during the week – something I rarely get to do when I am commuting; building a special bond with my elderly neighbour, who lives alone. I deliver food to her every three days and surprise her with chocolate biscuits every time, she is a special lady! Having a positive mind-set is invaluable when we are faced with the toughest challenges.

Ria K: Having the time to cook each day – it’s always been something I have enjoyed doing and I love having the time to be adventurous in the kitchen at the moment! We finally had time to lay our new wood flooring – and managed to do so without any external help! It’s taught me a lot about myself – most notably how I have the ability to adapt to situations without letting it overwhelm me.

Scarlette: More appreciation for things we have taken for granted; less waste; not feeling the need to spend money silly things.

Jonny: Re-connecting with old friends; finding new and inventive ways to exercise; seeing how my local area of Bermondsey has come together to support small businesses in the area.

Jasmyn: My relationship can survive being stuck in a small flat together – we still have things to talk about everyday & as long as we have each other it doesn’t matter where we live! People are talking more openly about mental health, worries, feelings etc. Seeing the amazing things people do for each other.

Your top tip in keeping connected with colleagues, family and friends is…

Jonathan B: Everyone making the effort to support and be there for each other

Amy: ...by any means! Phone, Zoom, What’s App, Instagram messaging, House Party – it’s nice to have a mix

Mark: If you have young children in your house, set up family Zoom calls when they are in bed. Zoom is fantastic, but trying to listen to several people on a zoom call, while your children are running around screaming, is incredibly stressful!

Ria K: Quiz breaks/quiz nights! They are fun, not at all work related and everyone loves a quiz (and get’s surprisingly competitive!!)

Scarlette: Pre-booking zoom calls, whatsapp groups

Jonny: Everyone is at home, why send a text when a phone call is better?

Jasmyn: I’ve been used to this one for years now as my family is in Australia. What’s App, video calling – all the usual.

The book or Netflix series you can’t put down is…

Jonathan B: Sunderland till I die

Amy: I have both a book (Whisper Network) and a Netflix series (Tiger King) ready to go, just waiting for the chance to read/watch them….

Mark: This one is easy. Narcos: Mexico. My wife and I have loved every minute of this Netflix series – highly recommended.

Ria K: The Rome Affair – Karen Swan. If I can’t travel I can read about my favourite city!

Scarlette: The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Jonny: Gangs of London

Jasmyn: Book: The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins. Netflix: The Tiger King, Louis Theroux documentary series. Also Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Nightmares and the new season of Killing Eve on BBC.

Most helpful app or podcast you have discovered is…

Jonathan B: Linkedin learning

Amy: Feel Better, Live More by Dr Rangan Chatterjee (particularly the episode with John McAvoy)

Ria K: The Breethe app – I try to set aside five minutes at the beginning and end of the day to meditate and I’ve really noticed a difference. Despite everything going on, I am sleeping better than ever and when I wake up it just puts me in the right frame of mind for my day.

Scarlette: Poker face – you can play poker with your friends and chat at the same time!

Jonny: The Tuesday Club podcast - not exactly helpful but very funny and makes up for life without football

Jasmyn: Headspace sleepcasts.

The hobby, new interest, new thing you are learning because of lockdown is…

Jonathan B: Cycling

Amy: I gave up running many years ago, but have been picking it up again and enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and being out in nature

Mark: Baking! My daughter is loving having me around more often, we have baked cakes, biscuits and several fruit crumbles. I also now know every single word to the theme tune of Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol!!

Ria K: I’d love to say there was something specific but it’s more a sense of learning more about myself during this slower pace of life.

Scarlette: I've started running again

Jonny: Expanding my cooking repertoire

Jasmyn: Definitely cooking!

The first takeaway meal or restaurant you will visit once this is all over is...

Jonathan B: Definitely an Indian

Amy: I’ve been a proud supporter of Deliveroo during lockdown, so I’m not feeling too deprived. Just somewhere to meet friends will do for me.

Mark: I will have absolutely no choice on this one – my children will be making up for lost time in McDonalds as soon as the golden arches open again.

Ria K: Dumpling Shack at Spitalfields Market followed by a Bread Ahead doughnut!

Scarlette: The Green Man in Thaxted – a lovey country pub/restaurant with a beer garden, top wine and we can take Betsy Bo! (Scarlette's very cute dog)

Jonny: Brindisa in Borough Market

Jasmyn: Dishoom!

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