work priorities post lockdown

It was only a couple of months ago that our world was different. We went to work, liked some things and grumbled about others, loved or hated our job, were stressed from an always-on culture, thought about starting a business of our own, felt secure but trapped by our pay and benefits, craved more autonomy or a creative outlet, wanted a better work-life balance and a lot more. But we had no time to make a change, and never a moment to sit down and work out what we really want.

That was then.

Now – some people have been stressed and stretched from needing to transfer everything online. Others have unfortunately had their jobs made redundant. Staff not furloughed have had to take on new responsibilities. There have been back-to-back meetings, but little of the usual face-to-face chat that can be both a distraction and a source of energy, information and fun. Key workers, parents of young children and many others have never let up. They have doubled their pace. Other people have had more time. For them, it has been an enforced slow-down, welcome for some , not for others.

At CCS we conducted a survey of attitudes to work as a result of Lockdown. What are the positives? And the negatives?

Some of the answers are summarised below:

The Positives

  • It has been great to learn new skills (mostly IT)
  • The slower pace has brought stress levels down
  • There is more time to be creative and experiment- try out new things
  • Liking the flexibility of working from home
  • Having more time for ‘myself’
  • Forging new online collaborations
  • Realising there are new opportunities to consider
  • Experiencing less interference from politics and bureaucracy

The Negatives

  • Missing casual chats and ‘feeding’ off each other
  • Not having the warmth of personal interactions
  • Lacking a ‘culture of community’
  • A dislike of working from home
  • Anxiety about health and finances: own and family
  • Feeling out of control and worrying about small things

It depends

  • Taking on new or different responsibilities
  • Having daily, rather than weekly, meetings

The sudden and enforced change of Lockdown is not dissimilar to the impact of a life crisis, when we may review what really matters to us. We have had to change our lifestyle, and we may begin to question whether our previous way of life is the one we want to continue.

Our work values, or priorities, may have changed.

We don’t have to wait until the next crisis to re-evaluate our priorities. We can use the time to think about what really matters to us. What has stayed the same as before Lockdown? What is different? What have I learned about myself and the way I would like to work since Lockdown? What three things will I commit to take action on – now and immediately after Lockdown ends?

Look at the following list of Work Values or priorities and rate below how important each one was to you before Lockdown, and how important that Value is to you now.

Use the 1-10 scale, where 1 = not at all important and 10 = of the utmost importance

Work Value Importance pre- Lockdown (1-10) Importance to me now (1-10)
To have autonomy and flexibility
To express my creativity
To have work that fits with other parts of my life
Working closely with others
Time to relax and switch off
Learning new skills
To do something useful for society
To be appreciated for my efforts
To lead and influence others
To embrace change


Now, mark with * those Work Values you want to ensure are realised in the future. Choose the three you can commit to taking action on now, and two you intend to action in the first month after Lockdown.

Our values inform our priorities, and so can guide our choices in order for us to feel fulfilment and satisfaction.

Any changes you make could range from tweaking the way you work to making quite radical changes in your career.

Questions people are asking are:

  • Could I work more flexibly, working from home two days a week?
  • In what ways could we work more effectively in our team?
  • How professional is my online visibility?
  • Could I use my creativity more in my current role?
  • With whom do I need to network to build my Personal Brand or reputation
  • Could I find a more creative role?
  • What training or development would really interest me, and be useful?
  • Could I do more meaningful work? Or work in a way which is more meaningful?
  • Could I volunteer?

At CCS, we help people to re-evaluate their strengths, motivators and work values to better navigate their future career. Do contact one of us for a free Introductory Discussion about ways we can help

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