Throughout the past few months, the world seems to have been constantly changing as we all adjusted to life during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have felt ‘left in the dark’ with nobody knowing what was happening and how the next few months would look. The UK is now going through another set of changes and starting to settle into a ‘new normal’. This second set of changes in such a short space of time can feel exhausting.
For me, starting my internship during this time meant I not only had to worry about fitting in with a new team in a role that was new to me, but I also had to adjust to office work during Covid-19.
Communication was the only thing that made this transition into my internship as easy as it has been, from my initial interview and throughout my induction.
At the start, the uncertainty COVID brought had to be accepted on both sides- at my interview, we were even unsure if I’d ever make it into the office! During the interview, both Chris and David made it clear that the only thing that would get us through this uncertainty would be communication on both sides in terms of their changing plans and what I required to make this internship as useful as possible for me. This emphasis on communication continued when I started in the office. Due to physical distancing, we were unable to gain the first-hand experience into the practical elements of Acceler8’s training such as board games and jigsaw puzzles and instead this had to be conveyed through words alone. This forced me to think in a different way as instead of seeing and experiencing how the training worked first-hand, I instead had to visualise, listen carefully and ask pointed questions to gain a full understanding. Despite the challenges this produced, I was able to use this going forward as it demonstrated further to me the different learning styles and how sessions can be adapted.
The longer that I’ve been here, the clearer it is becoming that everyone has had to adjust how they work and interact (whether that be working from home or rethinking training styles and techniques) but they have embraced this change and instead focused on how they can use the challenges COVID has produced to drive forward their work and how they communicate.
You don’t realise how much physical interaction plays a role in the workspace until you are forced to rely on solely verbal communication, but this has forced me to rethink the way I communicate which I can now take forward.
During my induction, Chris said that Acceler8 is referring to what is commonly called ‘social distancing’ as ‘physical distancing’ in the office and that couldn’t feel truer. This is an opportunity for us to rethink how we communicate and interact and learn as opposed to putting barriers in place in our social interactions. There is a new emphasis on the words we use.
Whether you used this time to learn a new skill, reassess your life or were simply just trying to get through it, we’re now entering a new phase and beginning to look towards the light at the end of the tunnel. It can useful and interesting to look back and think about how COVID has affected how you work, learn and communicate.