It is an unusual time to be a trainee. I started at Russell-Cooke at the beginning of March and had eight days in the office before being sent home to work remotely.

Where I used to share an office with my supervisor, I now share it with my flatmate and my fridge.

Supervision is an important part of a training contract, particularly during your first seat. Out with face-to-face feedback and in with screen sharing and video calls over zoom. Teething problems (mostly) resolved, this has quickly become the new normal as we all adjust to make this way of working effective. 

Getting to know my team remotely, after just a short stint in the office, was a concern of mine when we first went into lockdown. However, it has been a surprisingly smooth experience, helped through weekly quizzes, virtual team meetings and regular phone calls. I have met (remotely) some of my team’s children, spouses and flatmates as a result of this enforced work-from-home environment. This has not only given me a fantastic insight into how colleagues decide to decorate their living rooms, but also a view into their lives outside the office, something which might not have developed so quickly under ordinary circumstances.

Trainees normally lunch together and this social interaction has been greatly missed. The trainee social committee has been quick to organise virtual catchups and quizzes, so we keep in regular contact and still have a space to discuss anything we need. 

As it is mental health awareness week this week, let’s take a look at what some of the trainees have been doing outside of work to keep happy and healthy during this challenging time…

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Katherine, Caroline, Emily, Jonny, Rachel, Jack, Ellie, Ed and Chris at one of our trainee quizzes

Some of the trainees managed to escape London pre-lockdown and have returned to their family homes…

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Other trainees have been keeping up with different forms of exercise and making the most of some of London's green spaces…

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Great Trainee Bake off

And finally, like much of the nation, we have turned to baking…that is, when we have been able to find flour and eggs in the supermarket!

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Baked by Caroline, Jack, Emily, Naushaba and Katherine