It must be a sign that the immediate daily impacts of covid are, for now, receding. Already we are thinking instead about what the longer-term effects of the last year will be. Masks in public places? Keeping your distance rather than shaking hands or – heaven forbid – a kiss, when you meet someone? Death glares for anyone who coughs in the supermarket? Extending your personal space to a bubble with a radius of 2m in all directions, and getting irritated with anyone who invades it?
Life has changed, and we have changed – but what implications does that have for our work?
In this edition of Connect we speak to Dr Chris Edmond, who is a specialist in occupational health – where is the line now, which separates our own responsibility, from that of our employer, for our health? What happens if that line shifts further towards our employers? Do small businesses have the resources to accept that, both in terms of cash, but also accepting increased liability?
The distinction between our home and work lives has been blurred in the last year, it is no longer possible to compartmentalise the two. Businesses are already addressing the day-to-day effects of that on where the line of responsibility lies, and how far their reach should extend into the home.
These are complex issues, and now is the time to revisit some of the decisions made in the heat of the pandemic when ‘just getting it done’ perhaps was more important that ‘getting it done right.’
For some the flexibility is liberating; for others it is terrifying and the issue for employers is that they will be expected to meet the needs of both.
The pandemic has brought that conversation into sharper focus, and on page 18 Dr Edmond works though some of the differing perspectives involved.
Clichés abound in this field, such as if you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life! How very comforting. But in the month which includes Liberation Day, Connect went to meet one islander who provides the solid foundation on which such aphorisms are based.
Graeme Delanoe is the owner of Newton and Newton, which many will know as Jersey’s gun shop – but he is also a dedicated supporter of the charities which look after past and present members of the armed forces, and someone you will often see (particularly at this time of year) behind the wheel of a WW2 jeep.
Quite literally, he lives what he does, and Jersey’s Liberation Day commemorations will be the better for it.
So, if you are also considering making your vocation your occupation, I hope you enjoy Connect this month.