Positives from 2020

Turkish kebab

As 2020 draws to a close, we are sharing some of our personal stories from 2020. Its been a tough year for most of us and yet there have also been some great success stories. We are continuing the series with our Marketing Manager, Verity Morrish, as she shares her positives of the year.

I had so many plans for 2020, both professional with a full and exciting marketing plan I was ready to kick off and personal with some house renovation and a year of holidays, weekends away and trips planned out.  Obviously that all changed, while the work side of things continued it had to adapt and change quickly. As Chiumento has been a fully remote working organisation since we closed our last physical office in 2017, we were ahead of the game a little. We didn’t have to make any major, in fact, we didn’t have to make any adjustments, to our way of working.  We were all at home already.

For me, 2020 has shown that remote working is not a luxury, a benefit for the most senior workers, one that can be given or withheld on a whim.  The enforced time away from the office and the normal 9-5 has just highlighted how it can work. That teams can still collaborate, efficiency doesn’t take a nosedive and that working from home means working, not skiving.  It’s a real positive and something that I hope will continue into 2021 and beyond.

The personal side, however, didn’t just change it came to a standstill with everything cancelled. As a planner who loves a full diary and having something to look forward to for the next six months, it was a bit of a shock to find myself at home, with both children and husband with no plans for the foreseeable future. This slowing down, stopping and spending more time together at home has brought about some positives, ones that I hope to continue into 2021.

The main highlight for me from 2020 is dinner time.  As a family we rarely ate together, the children ate at 5ish and then me and my husband would collapse on the sofa around 9 pm and eat ours while watching some drivel on TV.  It was only at weekends that we would manage a nice family meal together.

However, with us all at home, it quickly changed, and dinner time became one of the highlights of the day.  My almost obsessive need to plan plus my love of travel went into overdrive and I decided we should go on a culinary tour of the world.  Each week we would pick a different country and then have a feast (well maybe a bit of an exaggeration here) from that country.

Without leaving our kitchen we travelled far and wide, the big hits were waffles from Belgium for breakfast, tapas from Spain and surprisingly fish stew from Ecuador.  There were also some big misses, but I think that is down to my cooking rather than the dish itself.  My girls will not be rushing to Russia for stroganoff or to Hungary for some paprika chicken any time soon.

We’ve gone from all eating in front of the TV most nights, to now every dinner being at a table, together. There are obviously the exceptions, for example, tonight it’s pizza and a film.  Luckily the children were never fussy eaters, but the range of food my girls now eat has expanded and we spend dinner time talking and catching up.  The request for this week’s feast is Japan, which has become a firm favourite here, so sushi, teriyaki and some katsu curry is on the shopping list.

While I work remotely on a permanent basis and have done since starting at Chiumento in 2016, it is new for my husband.  As I said before, my hope is that this enforced remote working means that when the return to the office is allowed, it won’t be for 5 days a week.  That there will be increased flexibility and less scepticism by employers in general about the viability of remote working. I also hope that our newfound eating habits can continue…  I mean there are still some countries that I’ve not managed to cook yet, fermented shark from Iceland anyone??

‘Positives from 2020’ was written by Verity Morrish, Marketing Manager, Chiumento Ltd. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.

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