Life as Office Administrator at Southampton Science Park
In April, I excitedly began a new role as Office Administrator at Southampton Science Park.
As part of our handover, I remember asking my predecessor what a typical day in the office was like? Her reply was that, although each day had the usual admin tasks, every day was different, determined by who came into the office and what communications came into the email boxes.
I am now three weeks into my new role, and she was right: every day is different! But my first few weeks have been far from ordinary - I started a few weeks into ‘lockdown’. I could not have imagined that I would be working from home for an undetermined amount of time and that I would meet my new work colleagues online.
My role involves dealing with enquiries and communications from our business community on-site, as well as providing administrative support to my senior management team and other team members. Ordinarily, these interactions would be face to face, by telephone and online communications but I am taking each day as it comes, accepting that I am not having those face to face interactions with many people and that elements of the job role have yet to get started. Accepting that, for now, this is the way of working for so many people I am forging working relationships online and by virtual meetings.
The weekly team meeting is especially useful. I do get a true sense that ‘business as usual’ is happening as best it can and that the whole team is really looking forward to coming back to the Science Park office. I too am really looking forward to this!
From a personal perspective I have found it helpful to try to maintain a routine whilst working at home. I get up to the alarm, have regular tea breaks, have a wander around the garden – I can name at least five bird species now! I switch off from work mode when my working day is done – close the laptop down, close the office (bedroom) door and revert into home mode.
More importantly, I have tried to maintain a sense of perspective on life. Undoubtedly, I am doing my bit to keep myself and others safe, but I cannot influence a lot of the things going on around me, so I try to worry less. I have had more time to indulge myself in some of my hobbies – I have nearly completed knitting a pair of socks! Sadly though, despite having more time for baking, my kitchen skills have not improved greatly – my long suffering husband would be the first to tell anyone that….