Community Lockdown Life Kate I never knew how much I liked getting up and going to work in my office until I couldn’t do it any more. When I think back now, I used to moan about the buses and the weather and I didn’t ever appreciate how much I was getting from being with all sorts of different people and being part of something bigger – Sheffield as it went to work every day. The first few weeks of lockdown I worked incessantly, feeling guilty if I stopped to talk to a family member or stared out of the window for a few minutes. I felt guilty for feeling bored, knowing that so many people had it worse than me. I got backache and neck ache from sitting at the wrong sized chair at a too high table, I hated Zoom meetings – and I also resented the fact that most people seemed to be adapting to working from home well. Everyone I spoke to on Zoom was baking bread or growing vegetables and I felt inadequate that I wasn’t adapting. The turnaround came gradually. Firstly I realised I had to start taking regular breaks because of my back ache. I started getting up, stretching, leaving the room I was working in and just taking 10 minutes in the kitchen. Then I spoke to a colleague on the phone and he said he was bored and missed the workplace – this allowed me to agree. We had a chat – and laughed – about the old workplace, but we also identified some of the benefits of working from home. We were both fortunate enough to have gardens and we both agreed that spending lunchtime watching the sparrows and blackbirds preparing for nesting was nicer than sitting in the crowded kitchen at work. Gradually I’ve adapted to the new routine. I have regular breaks and I have a run at midday. It’s very different to how it was in the office, but it’s my workspace and I’ve accepted that now. I still miss leaving the house and travelling to a busy office, but I can see the benefits of home working. I don’t feel guilty and I don’t feel bored. I Zoom regularly, but I still don’t bake bread. I don’t know when I’ll be back in the office but when that happens I know it will take me some time to re-adjust. I suppose that how we humans operate – we’re very adaptable but sometimes we need a bit of time to get our heads around what’s happening. Kate.