• Shepton Mallet Prison

Prison Lockdown - Week 3

Week Three – Working From Home

We are moving into our third week now. Whilst cabin fever may have well and truly set in for some of us, the weekly task that I so often put off has now become something to look forward to because it gives me the opportunity of escaping the confines of the house.

On my last visit to the supermarket for essentials, I wondered whether we should start using elements of traffic control and highway code.. Indicators would be a great addition, as would traffic lights to prevent accidental trolley crashes. The latter however does normally generate a bit of a chuckle from both parties.

Many of us are currently experiencing the concept of “working from home” for the first time. Whilst initially this may sound like a great idea (lie-ins, working in more comfy attire, and perhaps even avoiding certain co-workers) many of us will have realised that the novelty soon wears off.

Normally, if I am working in the prison, my daily jobs will vary greatly; speaking face-to-face with customers, cleaning the essential facilities, answering the telephone, going around the prison site, as well as working on a computer. Not being onsite has resulted in significantly less moving around, more sitting down, and significantly more screen time, which all take a toll physically.

I’ve turned the dining room into a temporary office as it has the most upright chairs and my feet touch the floor; a real novelty. I get to put this brilliant Macbook to use finally too! I also live with someone who regularly works from home and has their own office space, but they are also not used to someone else invading their work environment. I keep my distance, providing us both with a little peace and privacy.

Although it has been recommended to me a number of times, personally white noise just doesn’t do it. Many people find it a useful aid whilst working or sleeping. I can’t listen to music either, else I will just start singing along. Instead,I find talk radio or film review podcasts to be a good backing track to my work.

When we finish our shift, some of us cannot simply close the door on our offices. If you’re having to work in a communal home room, it helps if you can collapse your office at the end of the day and move it out of the way. So, when I finish my work today, the computer is being turned off, folded away, and moved to somewhere where I cannot see it, leaving work just as I would normally to go home.

Felicity - CSA at Shepton Mallet Prison

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