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Being back on campus

Many members of BU staff have begun to return to campus after working remotely over lockdown. We asked some of them to share their experiences of being back... 

"It was so good to be back on campus and the safety measures put in place were no different to those at a shop, so I thought it might feel a bit odd, but I adapted very quickly. I’m very grateful for technology that has allowed us to work from home but it was great to see colleagues in person!"

Nathaniel Hobby, PR and Corporate Communications Manager 

"When we started working from home in March, and as the months progressed, I felt that I was really benefitting from working from home and that I would like to do it long-term. I didn't miss the commute (90 mins a day) and there was a noticeable financial saving (petrol and Starbucks!!) too. I enjoyed grabbing some lunch in the garden with my husband and I appreciated the fact that I could do all my work from home, where I felt safe. In my head I wasn't going back to Poole House until September.

I was involved in the work to prepare campus for re-opening, so knew exactly what was being done to make sure we are all safe. When I was asked if I would like to come and see what was happening, I was happy to say yes, and yet I felt apprehensive that first day in June because I didn't know what to expect. 

Turns out it's pretty normal, but with signage, sanitising stations and perspex screens at reception. The thing that surprised me the most was how long it takes to get ready for work! It feels really good to be back on campus; online meetings are great, in moderation, but it's great to get away from constant screen time and catch up with people face-to-face (but 2m apart, obviously). 

I've been back 2 or 3 days a week for a while now, and it feels great. I'm looking forward to seeing more people over the next few weeks as we prepare to welcome our students for the new academic year." 

Shona Nairn-Smith, Business Support Manager 

"From the first day I came back on the 1st August for Summer Kids' Camps, I have felt nothing but safe. The majority of staff who have already been here, such as cleaners and the Estates team, were all wearing masks and respecting physical distancing.

Upon your arrival, you receive a bag with wipes, hand sanitiser and a mask which I thought was a really nice touch to assure us all that the university are taking everything seriously.

Obviously being Health & Fitness Manager, I have had to follow plenty of new processes for the gym which have been made easier by all the staff around me, including Kamila from reception and Teresa Denney from Estates. The cleaners have been nothing but helpful and friendly with anti bac top ups and hand towels.

There are clear and well designed signs everywhere so you know exactly what you need to do in any place and physical distancing has been put in place with 'keep left' stickers on the floor around the campus  Estates have been incredible with putting up the perspex screens to make sure everyone feels and stays safe.

Offices are well thought out in terms of the rota of who works when, so physical distancing can be in place. I couldn't feel any happier than I am being back to work and there is no reason to feel unsure. Thank you to everyone who is keeping everything going!"

Olivia Austin, Health and Fitness Manager 

"The adaptations made in the office and around campus generally reflect what we all expect to see now in terms of distancing, good hand hygiene etc. I haven't felt concerned about not being able to access facilities and there are sanitisers everywhere. I haven't once had any concern about being put at risk by being at work.

It has been an exceptionally positive thing for me to return to the office in terms of well-being - I have not found working at home easy, having a good clear divide between home and work is really important to me. I also feel much more productive.

It is also great to see colleagues and I have to say everyone is so patient and collegiate - it really has been a pleasure to come in and move into this new phase." 

Ella Say, Academic Quality Team Leader

"It felt like being back home - in a work sense. It felt safe, clean and like a positive step in a good direction. Plus, a proper work desk and supportive chair! 

The sense of doing things more efficiently, rather than always having to have a 'work around' was a relief, and the ease of use and speed of technology was amazing. And I actually switched off from work at the end of the day properly." 

Ann Barnes, Access and Participation Analyst