London lockdown

Jun 30, 2020


Just more than two short months ago, life in London started to change. The COVID-19 crisis was beginning to reach our shores, when Flybe went into administration and we all began the realisation that things were about to change.  Ironically, the evening of the closure of Flybe, I was in Belfast and it was only on the Friday morning that the impact on the London economy and that of Belfast City Airport was beginning to be felt. My frequent travels were cancelled, as Easter holidays in Portugal, holy communion Dublin and a family wedding in Donegal all cancelled one after the other.  Two weeks later, the final axe dropped…on St Patrick's day, I was told not to come back to the office until further notice.  

Working from home offers more family time

Initially the prospect of working from home didn’t faze me, after all, I do this every week for one day, but this time it was different. There would be no quiet house, no pushing that meeting to tomorrow when I can do it face to face (as that is best) and new working hours to balance looking after my 20 month old son with a full time job. My “new normal” now involves a 06:00 start to the working day, with a stop at 14:00, and a constant eye on the phone for urgent e-mails. I'm not a front line worker, I’m a proud Chartered Accountant, wishing to do my best. Lockdown has brought many challenges, including the stresses of if I can get what I want from the shops (stocks are better, but we still see eggs in the supermarket as a luxury now).  On the brighter side, my new colleagues have brought immense joy (and stress) to my working day. I am having lunch and dinner with my family, which we couldn’t do before. The days are long, and I question if they are sustainable, but for the time being, there is a bright side.

Peter Keenan-Gavaghan - Audit Owner - Barclays - London