Life and work lessons from lockdown

Life and work lessons from lockdown

WORK180Dec 16, 2020

COVID-19 didn’t arrive with instructions. So while it’s all too easy to focus on our failings, it’s important for everyone to recognise how much we’ve accomplished this year — even if that accomplishment is simply making it through a pandemic.

It’s also important we don’t forget the valuables lessons we’ve learnt along the way. We asked employees from around the world to share their life lessons from lockdown with you. And with their answers now in, it’s time for you to take a break, grab a drink (mulled wine, anyone?), and see if there are any new learnings you’d also like to take into 2021.

The lesson I’ve learnt from lockdown is…


Claire Mahoney | HR Business Partner, Southeastern Railway: "Learning very quickly the real meaning of multi-tasking…"


Nicole Tomlinson | HR Manager, Vaultex: “I’m fortunate to work for a company that really care!”

Janice Hawkins | Resourcing Manager, Transport for Greater Manchester: “I can work differently and still make things happen!”


Kate Hillman | Australia People Partner and Partner - People Advisory Services, EY: "Transparent and consistent communication helps EY people feel secure and informed."


Kirsten Howes | Southeastern Railway:

The thing that stands out is that the people I work with are more understanding and empathetic towards the challenges of being a working mum than I knew. What was not acceptable one week (kids fighting and screaming in the background) was not only acceptable the following week, but people showed kindness and sympathy. Also, a headset is the must have accessory for anyone juggling working and parenting!


Ingrid Vio | Commercial Communications Coordinator, Toyota Motor Corporation Australia: "The power of routine – fresh air, coffee and a furry friend will start your day right!"


Alana Martin (she/her) | Sr. Manager, HR Business Partner, TE Connectivity: "Be grateful for all things, big and especially the small."


Victoria Lau | Data Specialist, Site Operations Centre, Oz Minerals: “The importance of family and friends, how to work from home, and Melbourne's resilience.”


Nina Sjolund | Learning and Development Manager, ViacomCBS & Laura Pye | VP of Creative and Production, ViacomCBS: "Creating, collaborating, and supporting each other is the true purpose of your network. Never has this been more important than now."


Simon Collins | Head of HR Operations, Northern Trains: "We mostly learnt about the fears and concerns of our colleagues. On the positive, more than ever we've spoken with people, more than we've ever done before, with teams, with zoom, and we are more engaged with our colleagues and our team."


Georgina Ashford | Marketing Coordinator, WORK180:

Use every experience as motivation to achieve your goals, be it a positive or negative experience. Don't let anything get in your way, espcially your own self doubt or fear.

Still struggling with the sudden transition of working from home?

Don’t worry, WORK180's Georgina Ashford shares the simple steps to success in her recent article on how to make ‘working from home’ work for you. Read it here.


Simon Eid | Group Vice President, Australia and New Zealand, Splunk: "The sense of 'team' is enhanced by a shared experience."


Jen Lau | Project Planner, Ericsson: “Active empathy and kindness helps to reduce feelings of loneliness.”

Aisling McWeeney | Inhouse Recruiter, NortonLifeLock: "I am even more invested in my work since working from home."


Anna Sarelas | Employee Relations and Remuneration Manager, TransGrid: "How resilient kids are, and that we’re all in it together."


Rebecca King | Planning Engineer, Melbourne Water:

COVID may have brought about devastation to the world's health, but it has brought about positive change in the way we work and balance in our lives.


Naomi Townsend | Supervisor - Logistics Mechanised Production, Aurizon: "Working from home does not impact quality of work."


Natalia Rozycki | TAC, NAB: "You can manage your time effectively both from home and the office."

Sharini Daniel | Finance Manager, Rheinmetall Defence Australia: “Everyone has a part to play to make things happen!”


Rachelle Hansen | Director - HRBP Global Sales, Poly:

My new working from home approach blends my personal and my professional life more now than ever. That means being nimble and flexible throughout my day while balancing work with common core first grade math.


Jennifer Tarr | General Manager, Stanwell: "During COVID our team had a daily social chat time and I loved it because I got to know everyone a little bit better."

Watch Jennifer's video describing her lesson from lockdown.


Valeria Ignatieva | Co-Founder and CEO, WORK180:

This year, Gemma (my fellow CEO) and I introduced a nine-day fortnight at WORK180. While our team was already fully flexible — working whenever and wherever works for them — we wanted to ensure everyone had the time they needed to cope with the potential increase in domestic and mental pressures caused by the pandemic. We’ve received great feedback and productivity is unimpacted, which is a great 'silver lining' from COVID-19 for us. My advice for other employers would be to extend trust to employees from day one.

Share your experiences with like-minded women all year round

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About the author



WORK180 is an international jobs network that connects smart businesses with talented women. We pre-screen every employer on our jobs board to see where they stand on pay equity, flexible working, paid parental leave, equal opportunities and a range of other criteria. We also take into account diversity initiatives focusing on age, ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

The information we uncover is made public on our website, so that everyone knows what to expect from each employer before applying for a job. We continually review and evolve our pre-screening criteria to ensure workplaces are fair and equal for everyone.

To help women find a workplace that will work for them, we prescreen employers on their gender pay gap data, parental leave policies, flexible working, and more. Find your next role on the WORK180 job board.