Michael Davies
TIGERS
Construction Team Leader

TIGERS

As the ninth week of working from home begins, we are celebrating #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, which could not have come at a better time to raise awareness. Working from home for the first few weeks were particularly difficult as my routine was completely turned on its head. My sleep pattern was out of sync, I was waking up later than usual and felt myself really struggling to focus on my work without distractions. I have worked ever since I left school and never once from home, it was tough to adapt! Despite the challenges throughout the passing weeks, I have found myself realising that little things I can do to my day that can make such a big difference to how I am feeling. As the weeks have gone by having my morning cuppa tea in the garden has been become a ritual, and the only way to start off my day. Following this I text to my parents who are both public sector workers and have continued to work through this pandemic to see how they are and coping. This whole situation really has made me try to make more of a conscious effort to think more positively. Initially I was using terms like ‘lockdown at home’. Since then I have been seeing so many inspiring stories and realised even by saying little things like ‘safe at home’ rather than ‘lockdown at home’ helps create a more positive mindset for myself and for the people around me. As my colleague Allan says every morning without fail:

“The birds are singing, and the sun is shining regardless of the weather.”

We had little or no time to prepare for working from home, so I knew it was not going to be easy! Using Technology has been tricky and not without a few bumps in the road, but this may prove to be a massive blessing in disguise! As a business we have been using Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Classrooms. These different types of technology may have been something that we never would have explored if it were not for COVID-19. The engagement levels of the learners have been unbelievable. This is a credit to the trainers and the relationship they have built with the young people and the relationship led practice model we, at TIGERS, invest so much into. The learner’s feedback has been vital in helping us looking at our delivery methods and how we can best adapt.

Lewis, one of our learners, recently told us:

“I enjoy going on a daily cycle as I live in a rural area and it helps with being at home so much so I can maintain a stable mindset. My Mum is a nurse in the NHS so myself and my family have been trying to look after her and it is worrying. Adapting to new online work methods in construction was a little different to begin with but my trainer Stefan has helped massively with talking on Zoom, phone calls and text messages daily.”

I have begun regular walks after work with my partner. We have been doing this to help our physical and mental well-being. It has proved a great way for us to both connect and talk about our day as well as escape from the four walls. Seeing people keeping their distance from others while walking down the street and in supermarkets, along with wearing face masks, was a little surreal at first and took a while to get used to but is now it is the new social norm. We still face many challenges when remote working is eased and have to slowly adapt back into our roles. We know it is not going to be easy but if we show unity like we have during the last nine weeks the transition will be easier. One thing is for certain, the old ‘normality’ is no longer.

Our values at TIGERS are integrity, love, curiosity, and courage. I have seen shining examples of each one of them during this difficult time. This has been a real learning experience for me, an experience that has brought the TIGERS team closer together! It has personally helped me realise how many supportive people I have around me. I have seen so many different examples of kindness in my personal life and my work life. Knowing that people have their own anxieties and worries, and they take five or ten minutes out of their day to see how you are, is so selfless and thoughtful. We have all been there for each other to help ease the anxieties of our colleagues, our learners, and our families.