In our final staff spotlight of 2020, we’re chatting to our Corporate Responsibility Manager, Sue Taylor who has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to remain reactive to the ongoing changes to COVID workplace safety guidelines. We find out how she has adapted to working life over the past few months, how she sees peoples attitudes towards Health & Safety changing post-pandemic and as a keen baker, what her go-to recipe is for homemade afternoon tea.
1. Hey Sue! How have you found adapting to working life over the past few months?
A bit of a mixed bag to be honest! Some days good, but some a bit of a struggle. It makes you realise how social interaction plays such a major part in everyday life. I think the key for me was to try and stay positive each day and going for a walk and clear the head. Remembering to take a 5 minute break when needed to stretch the legs and make a hot drink was also important for me too because it’s amazing how without office distractions, you can get so absorbed that you find yourself sitting in one position for hours without realising. I found that if I stuck to my usual work routine, it kept me relatively sane – log on and off at normal times, taking lunch at 1 etc.
2. What have you missed most about working in the Penketh Group office every day?
The people, definitely. After working at Penketh Group for 24 years, they have become my second family. I really miss the casual chats about the TV the night before, or discussing a work issue with others. We work hard but we do have a laugh daily too about something or other and I am missing that for sure.
3. What are your tips on looking after your physical and mental wellbeing whilst working from home?
For me it was taking some exercise and also staying in touch with others. When working from home you can feel a little out of the loop, which can affect your mental wellbeing. I also made myself stop watching and listening to every news bulletin and limit it to once a day; the negativity and scare mongering I found brought me down mentally so I put some banging tunes on instead! Oh, and try and stay out of the biscuit tin – that is very important!
4. How do you see the COVID pandemic shaping employee’s attitude towards health, safety and hygiene in the workplace?
I don’t think anyone will ever be quite the same again after this is over. The pandemic has proved how fragile life can be so I feel that people will want a healthy work/life balance, by splitting their time between working in the office and from home. Obviously, it’s important that it works for both you and the business but I hope that companies embrace this for their employees who need it; it’s the new normal.
Health & Safety should be important to everyone regardless of the pandemic and I think that people will be more mindful in regard to hygiene both in the workplace and at home which is not a bad thing. Maybe sanitiser in the workplace and the shops should remain but it will be nice when we can stop wearing face masks – mind you, they do keep your nose warm in the cold weather!
5. We know you’re a bit of a homemade afternoon tea aficionado – what is go-to bake and why?
Well I’m more of a savoury cook than a baker but I have been practicing the cake baking while I’ve had more time and it has been quite therapeutic to be honest. I’ve been told that I make a mean lemon drizzle cake and a not too bad ginger cake…Mary Berry watch out! No good for the waistline though unfortunately…
Fancy another Staff Spotlight? Click here to catch up with our AV & IT specialist, Martin