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In a Difficult Year We Found Reasons to Be Happy

We recognise the losses many people have suffered during the pandemic. Without meaning to diminish any of those experiences, with 20th March being the International Day of Happiness, we asked our team to set aside the negatives and tell us about the good things that have been created by the pandemic. 

Despite the challenges, our people recognised many new things that made them happy. Mainly, they highlighted the redrawing of work life balance. Without sacrificing commitment to their work, and with no loss of productivity, the introduction of remote working has delivered some fantastic personal benefits. More time has been spent with loved ones. Hobbies have been learned or developed. Greater flexibility has made domestic responsibilities easier to manage.      

This Is What Our People Said About These Positive Changes

Catherine Jennings' Flamingo Painting - International Happiness Day

“I’ve learnt to appreciate time with my family much more than I ever did before.  I’ve also learnt to love my home and garden and appreciate spending time just in my own space, which has been hugely beneficial to me personally.  I started learning Italian and took up painting. I’m no Picasso, but it has brought me enormous happiness.” 

Catherine Jennings, People and Culture Director

“Working from home has given me far greater flexibility, which has been a huge help in sharing parental responsibilities with my wife, which was something that was not always possible pre Covid-19. It was great for me to see my kids do their school work. I came to appreciate how much effort they put in on a daily basis.”

Glen Richardson, Chief Technical Officer

“With less time taken up commuting, I’ve had more time available for my other interest. My partner and I make reclaimed timber furniture, which is great for the planet as otherwise waste materials are recycled into use again. More broadly, reduced travel during the pandemic has pushed global carbon emissions down, which has given the planet a much-needed break”.

Simon Osborn, Warehouse Manager

“Despite working within the same four walls every day, my colleagues have, without a doubt, worked brilliantly as a team, taking our communication and collaboration to a whole different level. I’ve also found time in my day for fitness. I now exercise daily first thing in the morning. This focuses my mind for the day ahead.”

Denise Hunt, Chief Operations Officer

“Like many other ladies my age, I started swimming in the sea during Lockdown. Initially, this was to get some exercise but the positive feeling it brings is now the reason I jump in. I have continued this through the winter and find myself planning my day around the time of high tide.”

Jenny Shaw, Commercial Director

 “Being able to continue working has made me happy, as many others have not been in that position. Even though colleagues were unable to interact in person, we all made a special effort to maintain contact via other channels, which was very positive. From a personal perspective, spending more time with my daughter has made me very happy. I’ve been able to focus more on my work and my daughter at the same time.”

Amber Flower, Key Account Manager

“Spending more time at home meant I have been able to pursue my calligraphy hobby. I’ve been able to finish more projects and go on a lot of calligraphy courses because they have all gone online. I have attended courses held in America from my dining room table!”

Anne Marie Delaney, Marketing Specialist

“Video conferencing is an interesting gain from the pandemic and a significant one in terms of wear and tear on me personally. I’ve not had to spend any time on an aircraft since the pandemic started, which has given me back 30 days of my life. Pre-pandemic I would have struggled to convince many people that working from home and using videoconferencing works. The pandemic has proved that it is not only possible but preferable!”

Martin Stillman Jones, Chairman

We were really pleased by the response from our people. Yes, it’s been a difficult year but there have been silver linings. We hope that everyone is able to reflect on the year we’ve shared with some positivity at the same time as joining us in looking forward to better days ahead.