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Preparing for and Managing the Second UK Lockdown

​With the announcement of the second lockdown being introduced this week, businesses and employees across the UK will be affected in different ways. Everyone will most likely need to once again adapt their ways of working for the next four weeks, and find ways to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

This year, organisations in the UK and globally have experienced major disruptions to ‘business as usual’. Over the course of 2020, companies and employees have changed their regular working patterns, made adjustments to office working environments, embraced agile and remote working, moved business operations and meetings online, and altogether adapted to new ways of working around COVID-19.

So, how can we best manage the coming lockdown?

Working from home has been one of the major changes introduced across the globe this year as a result of COVID-19. This new way of working can undoubtedly be challenging, but try to follow a daily routine.

Wake up at the same time each day as you usually would for work and prioritise your tasks – creating a to-do list can help with this. As you may not be in the office every day, have regular calls with your team whether these are on the phone, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Make sure you give yourself time away from your desk and computer screen to break up the day, take a proper lunch break, and clock off at a reasonable time as you would do in the office.

The effects of COVID-19 go beyond simply the professional space and changing work patterns. With this second wave and coming lockdown, people are going to have limited outlets outside the house or home office, and could perhaps feel more isolated, anxious or stressed with changes to their everyday normality.

Do what you can to look after yourself and don’t feel pressured to ‘achieve’ a long list of extra things in the next four weeks. If setting goals and achieving these help you, then go for it! However, everyone has a different way of dealing with pressure, anxiety and keeping their mental health in check. If you can, spend quality time with those around you in your household or support bubble, do what you can to maintain workplace relationships, and focus on what helps you. Exercise, concentrate on activities that interest you in your spare time, meet one person outside (as new guidelines are allowing), and take time to look after your physical and mental wellbeing.

Important questions to focus on for the coming lockdown:
  • What new opportunities and challenges are there available?

  • How might they impact your work performance in Q4 and Q1 next year?

  • How do you need to adjust your focus to progress?

  • What lessons can you learn from the last lockdown?

  • How can you look after your mental health and wellbeing?

  • What extra support do you need?

As specialist headhunters within the Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences industry, we have witnessed collaborations across the globe with some of the biggest Pharmaceutical names including Emergent BioSolutions, Novartis, J&J, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, GSK and Regeneron, all for the cause of COVID-19. Clinical trials and the development of a vaccine are advancing and showing promising signs – all we can do in the meantime is try to remain positive and each do our bit to protect one another and stay safe, while maintaining the closest thing to ‘normality’ as we can.

Contact the Mantell Associates team on +44 (0)20 3778 0990 for more advice on adapting to new ways of working at home and managing around COVID-19.