Strengthening personal resilience and forming new friendships whilst working from home.

Lockdown for me has been interesting, emotional and has taken me to a new and exciting place in my life.

Before lockdown, I’d been living on my own for two years since buying my first property (which wasn’t as straightforward as I had hoped). All of a sudden, we were told that we needed to start working from home due to the Pandemic. I felt a mixture of sheer panic in making sure I had what I needed to work remotely, and excitement about working from home, which I’d never really done this before. 

I naively thought; “it’ll only be for three weeks and we’ll be back to normal”. I realised over the coming months that this sadly was not the case!

As we went into lockdown, my partner and I made the decision that he would move in with me after being together for seven months. It is something we had talked about trialling and we decided to use the time we had in lockdown to give it a go. At the start it felt weird and I joked with him, asking; “when are you going home?!”

Six months later, I am still successfully working from home and we are still happily cohabiting!

Dan, my partner, has a very practical job working for a Builders Merchant, so cannot work from home. Like many colleagues, being the only one at home during the day has been lonely for me at times. I am grateful for the fantastic team I work with. They are all very supportive and we have weekly catch ups to check in with each other. 


I have also developed a new friendship with a colleague at Cranfield whom I may never have met under “normal” circumstances, as our job roles are very different. But after hearing her story, I now have a new connection to share experiences with. We have weekly catch ups which has been lovely.

Because of the Step Up Network I now have a new connection to share experiences with.

Sometimes my workload has been a cause of stress and anxiety and being at home alone for the majority of the day has been hard too. Just over two years ago I purchased my first property with a former partner and that relationship ended. It was a difficult experience, but I am stronger for it. I have regained my confidence and I’m now more determined to push myself to get to where I want to be, and to be happy in my home.

I used the PAM Assist program for legal advice and they have been so helpful and reassuring.

These are just a few of the topics PAM Assist can help with.

I wanted to share my experience as lockdown has been a very stressful, anxious and difficult time for everyone, but help and support has always been here at Cranfield. I was moved by the recent story by another Step Up member about Cranfield’s Employee Assistance Programme.

I have also used the PAM Assist program – for legal advice – and they have been so helpful and reassuring. It’s a fantastic service, so no matter what happens in your professional or personal life please do not be afraid to give them a call if you are really struggling at home.  

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my supportive family, Dan, friends and colleagues but I also realise that I got myself here too, and that is so important. I’m really pleased I joined the Step Up Network because it has broadened my experience of Cranfield outside of my own department. I love what I do and look forward to many more years working for this fantastic University, with fantastic people. 

Thank you for reading!

Charlotte 

This Step Up Story was edited by Amy Knight. If you have a story to share please email stepup@cranfield.ac.uk.

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