by Lorraine Gillies, SCSN Chief OfficerWhy the first 'lockdown'​ email I sent to my staff teams was on self care -

I’m 2 weeks in to semi self isolation. My husband is immune suppressed so I’m trying not to go out. That means we are both working from home. Add a 16 year old, twa dugs and one cat into the mix and it’s an interesting situation. We dont have any bairns to home school – thank goodness – but some of my team do.

The Scottish Community Safety Network is busy just now, and so is Neighbourhood Watch Scotland – both vital organisations in terms of moving information and intelligence and supporting Community Safety Partnerships. As we moved closer towards lockdown, it became obvious that we would have a lot of work to do and that this work would be from home.

Now, I’ve been pretty vocal about home working already - and team SCSN are already pretty good at it but there is a big difference in being agile and smart to having no choice. It’s tough for some to be isolated, away from the banter of the office and when you add commonly held views that’s all a bit of a carry on, it can be de-motivating.

So on the first day, the first Monday after measures were put in place and people were figuring out how they were going to keep their family safe, stay mentally and physically well and put in a full shift, I sent an email out to my teams that said –

Because I know all of you, I know that you will want to do everything you can to support the aims of NWS and SCSN and the communities we work for. But, it must not be at risk of your own families and lives. Working from home can take over – just a wee bit longer, another email comes in – that sort of thing.

 Please take your days off, go for walks if you can, check in with the team regularly – join our Zoom tea breaks, read a book, take some time away from social media or TV, play with the bairns..

 I have a daughter and a husband with a transplanted kidney. There are times that I’ll have to be doing some family stuff. ********* – you have 2 wee bairns – it’s impossible to work from home full time with bairns to look after.

Do your best, I trust you..’

I think the way we do things at SCSN are the right way. My friends working in the private and public sector aren’t feeling so supported. I’m willing to bet that my staff team will be much more productive even if they are making sure their focus is on self care. Organisations like us can lead the way here, this could be the new way of working – wouldn’t that be great!