We have all heard about COVID-19 and by now we may even be a bit sick of it, I will come back to this in a bit though.

When I started at Geolytix, 3 years ago, I had been out of the office environment for over 10 years. I liked my previous company and I made some great friends while I was there but when I started at Geolytix nothing really prepared me for the special group of people that worked there.

I was number 13 when I started (unlucky for some but very lucky for Geolytix ;-)). My basic role was explained thoroughly and I was actively encouraged to develop it in whatever way I thought I could. This has continued throughout my employment there, not just for me but for everyone. They are always trying to help you achieve both professionally and personally.

The culture at Geolytix is work hard, play hard and gradually over time more staff were recruited and each time a new member arrived, they came with something else to bring to the Geolytix table. Most of the time without even realising it. Globally there are now 35 of us!

Geolytix have always promoted a flexible working structure, encouraged part time workers and already had an accommodating working from home policy.

After my first year at Geolytix, an unexpected personal situation arose for me which took the wind out of my sails and turned my world upside down, this is when I realised how much Geolytix actually cared for it’s people. I was supported and cared for relentlessly. For about 6/7 months Geolytix encouraged me and let me take the lead in getting back on my feet - Which I have done.

Since then I have been forever grateful that I landed the job there. From team trips and drinks, the continuous office banter, to winning business and at times losing it, Geolytix gives a new meaning to the word TEAM!

When COVID-19 first came to light in China, the senior team reached out to our Shanghai office using our team platform, everyone offered support, kind words and reassurance. Being part of that team was amazing and being able to support them all despite being so far away was a great feeling. They actively encouraged people to take the measures they needed to recover from this awful situation.

When the seriousness of COVID-19 became a realisation in the UK, Geolytix gave everyone the option to take the steps that made them comfortable. Some worked from home with immediate effect, others stuck it out until it became a necessity.

We were given permission to take equipment such as screens and screen stands home to make working easier, given constant updates and told that if we needed anything at all to make our work from home situation more comfortable to just ask and more importantly if we needed someone to talk to we could do so.

When this happened, amazing things took place. We looked at ways to keep ourselves from feeling isolated as a company and ways we could help our clients.

  • We suggested a bit of friendly competition to keep us moving so we downloaded an app where we could all keep our steps monitored to encourage exercise and we can see each other's progress so there can be no cheating!! This quickly escalated to googling “How Many Steps it would be to walk The Great Wall of China” and off the back of that we are going to attempt combining our steps to reach it! For those who are curious it’s a massive 27,816,272 steps! WISH US LUCK
  • A book club was formed for those who wanted to read and discuss, our first book is The School of Life by Alain De Botton.
  • People shared tips on keeping the children entertained whilst our movements outside the home were restricted and work needed to be carried on. This included a “PE with Joe”  link and The 30 day Lego Challenge.
  • Sharing playlists on Spotify, one of which is titled “Totally Stress Free” - We could all definitely do with that at the moment!
  • We have been sharing events that are happening online that we might like to get involved in - One of our favourite bars (Piano Works) is hosting a “Dance Like No One is Watching” Night on Friday. I know full well a few will be dancing around their living room to that.
  • Some of the team have led training sessions in their areas of expertise by video call which have really benefited newer members of the team -  I am planning on leading one in “How To Dance to Candy by Cameo” - If this is new to you, it’s definitely worth a google
  • A discussion was opened on ways we could help the community using our analytic & MAPP skills - Which isn’t my field of speciality but it’s great seeing the outputs the team are producing

My point is that there are lots of positive things happening within this tricky time for us, both personally & professionally. We just need to recognise, encourage and celebrate them.

Everyone here continues to work hard and ensure that despite this surreal position we find ourselves in we are able to deliver our products and services while following these steps, which will not only help us grow and bond as a team but also as friends, even more so than before.

I hope that all workplaces are supporting each other in this tough time the way mine is. We can only hope that this passes as quickly as it arrived and leaves people being kinder to others. In the meantime stay safe!

Donna Kirton, GEOLYTIX