Covid and the Workplace

Covid-19 has brought a daily sense of uncertainty—not knowing when statistics, cases, or vaccine rates might jump or dip has left us all expecting the unexpected by necessity. This constant sense of insecurity and anxiety has been particularly present for those in a sector largely unable to work from home. At Zest, it seemed each week following the first lockdown we were asking ourselves if we would get a rota for the following week or be sent into another lockdown that closed the shop for an indeterminant amount of time. As many of Zest’s employees are students and/or facing significant employment barriers, this workplace uncertainty was particularly affecting.

Luckily, our Lisa did more than her best to ensure we felt supported and engaged throughout both lockdowns in Scotland. Apart from overseeing furlough requirements and keeping us in the loop on business procedures and expectations regarding Covid-19 restrictions, Lisa went above and beyond by offering extensive training courses and opportunities (all Covid-safe) for the team. Online courses in accessibility, communication, leadership, food safety, and Covid-19 specific safety measures have helped us all maintain and extend our capacity as a team to offer the best service we can.

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Further, as soon as it was considered safe to do so, Lisa had individuals in for small coffee training sessions to expand our knowledge and hone our technique. We even had an in-person fire safety training course where we all had a chance to try fire extinguishers—most of us for the first time.

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Despite the uncertainty the pandemic has brought the staff at Zest, our commitment to training and team building has ensured staff wellbeing and connection remained strong.