Lockdown Team Blog - Series 2: Sam Nicholson
19 January 2021
3 minutes to read.
Last year, our teams produced a series of blogs written by colleagues across multiple divisions of the company. They provided a small insight into our evolving working practices and values as we all adjusted to our new post-COVID19 world. Now we're back with our second series!
Here is the first in our 2nd series of posts from our Head of Insurance Services, Sam Nicholson.
Here we are again
“Well, here we are again in our third lockdown. Since March 2020, I have been back into the office three times, two of which were followed swiftly by another lockdown….maybe I need to stay away from the office!
Each lockdown has felt a bit harder as it feels like we keep moving backwards, but now vaccinations have started we have something to look forward to.
I was pleased when we were able to open our offices to support colleagues that cannot work from home, it is great that we have been able to deliver this option. It wasn’t without a lot of planning and organisation, thank goodness we have a great facilities team.
Being back in the office was a bit daunting initially; I’m used to it being full of colleagues and a buzz in the air. Sitting at my desk looking at an almost empty floor was very strange, as well as remembering social distancing rules, mask wearing and one-way systems, each time you leave your desk. Will office working ever be the same again?
It was also interesting to realise how my working pattern has changed. I found it more difficult to do my role at my desk and probably spent at least 70% of my time in a meeting room participating in Teams calls, with colleagues and clients still at home. It made me think about how we will have to factor these changes into our office days as well as considering office layouts, if agile working becomes the new normal.
Similar to everyone else, I have settled into my home working routine but the novelty is fading. I think we are all desperate for that human interaction and to get back to ‘normal’. Don’t get me wrong, there are many benefits of home working and as I mentioned in my previous blog, I definitely think the future lies in a blended approach. I am probably just going a bit stir crazy at the moment being confined to home!
During the past 10 months, we have settled into our ‘BAU’. We have continued to offer our high level of services to our existing customers as well as to new clients. We have recruited new colleagues via virtual interviews and trained them remotely; it has been an interesting learning curve for us all. My teams have been fantastic; they have remained flexible and are still supporting one another despite having to juggle home schooling, isolation and family issues. 1-2-1’s and team meetings have continued, and we probably all check in with one another more now, which is a positive.
As a business, we have created Wellbeing Champions to ensure we look after one another’s mental health and are there for support when needed. Virtual Pilates and mindfulness sessions have continued as well as our virtual online magazine celebrating all things good!
If we have learnt anything from this experience, it is never to take for granted our routine, plans, friends and families ever again. Let’s look forward to the future and start planning those summer get-togethers and holidays!"
About the author
Sam Nicholson, Head of Insurance Services
Sam is ACII qualified and joined Carpenters Group in 2016 as Head of Insurance Services, bringing over 25 years of Insurance experience gained at General Accident, Norwich Union and Aviva. Sam has worked at both a technical and operational level across her career specialising in Claims. She has worked in a senior operational capacity for 15+ years and sits on the Groups Operations Board.