Hindsight is 2020: a year in reflection

How was 2020 for you?


Phew. What a year!

There’s no escaping the reality that 2020 has been miserable for so many people, plans, projects, and businesses.

But as we start stocking up on mince pies and untangling the Christmas lights, we decided to turn to our colleagues for advice and a moment of reflection on the challenges and discoveries of this, our most horribilis annus.

Many of our colleagues have had to contend with loss while also adapting to working from home, schooling from home, socialising from home – basically doing everything from home. But amid the stress and turbulence, people were also discovering new loves, building new habits, and neglecting sourdough starters.

What follows is the edited highlights of 4 questions:


What are you most looking forward to at Christmas?

“Eating my body weight in cheese, binge-watching all the shows I’ve been waiting to complete, and making a fancy meal for me and my partner for New Year’s Eve. Cherelle Johannes, Junior Marketing Executive

“Being able to completely switch off and relax.” – Caroline Howlin, Junior Project Manager

“Buying and sharing presents, watching movies with family, hot chocolate and popcorn” – Sandeepika Sehgal – Documentation Training Architect

“Carols by Zoom, which sounds like a new exciting adventure and when it’s organised we will be welcoming all to join us for some remote carolling together.” – Gerard Parsons, Senior Business Analyst

“Having the time to live in my home as a home and not as a workspace.” – Pat Webb, Project Manager

“I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my 3-year-old daughter.” – Sonia Rai, Development Analyst

“Waking up without an alarm clock!” – Jon Holloway, Group Financial Controller

“Reducing the number of Microsoft teams calls!”Perry Scanlon, CFO

What has helped you cope through 2020?

“Alcohol. Kidding! A great support system and lots of gaming has got me through it!” – Sabrina Phillips, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

“Borrowing dogs and supportive colleagues.” – Libby Barber, Contracts Manager

“My team have been my rock, they are all wonderful people to work with and understand we are all together, no matter where we are, the White Clarke Group family feel remains intact against all the odds.” – Pat Webb, Project Manager

“Discovering brilliant cooking channels on YouTube (SORTEDfood + Binging with Babish) – I’ve definitely spent a lot more time learning things in the kitchen too.” – Jeremy Fielden, Global Marketing Technology Manager

“Sticking to a strict sleep and bedtime routine and doing mundane stuff like planning meals, hoovering behind the sofa, and cuddling my cats. At the end of a long day, I most look forward to making dinner while listening to an audiobook to tune out from all the noise.”Cherelle Johannes, Junior Marketing Executive

“CALMS product launches kept the focus on. Had no time to complain… but most importantly Champagne & Yoga.” – Anna Lepp, Global Marketing Director

“Friends, family and the White Clarke team spirit.” – Matt Smith, CEO UK & Europe

“Our fantastic team and colleagues – always amazes me how good they are.” – Peter Kainradl, Managing Director

Have you learned anything new in 2020?

“This whole year has been a learning experience. We have faced many challenges but the amazing way people have reacted in keeping strong and together has helped us overcome the challenge.” – Philip Bowes, HR Manager

“About Imposter Syndrome and how it impacts professional and personal development (FutureLearn courses!)” – Libby Barber, Contracts Manager

“You don’t have to physically sit at the desk for 7 hours a day… you can even have a meeting on your phone whilst walking, not all meetings involve screen sharing.” – Dawn Monk, Senior Business Analyst

“To survive, we have to adapt to change. I think this is what survival of the fittest means. I feel we all know this, but going through it and experiencing it, is the biggest challenge.”Ottilia Deb, QA Analyst

“Life is a gift. Do not take anything for granted.” – Janice Chandler, Reception & Facilities Manager

“I can now fix a macerator!”Jon Holloway, Group Financial Controller

“Learned how to build a pc, build a side business, lots about how to make different cookies, oh and with a little determination you can eat an entire box of chicken nuggets in one sitting…” – Sabrina Phillips, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

“Explore your local area – it’s amazing how you can live somewhere for years, but never appreciate what is a mile from your front door.” Matt Smith, CEO UK & Europe

Recommendations for thriving in 2021?

“Be kind to yourself. It’s too easy to feel like being at home more exposes all the things in life you should be doing to be productive, or that you should have something to show for all the great things you’ve achieved in lockdown. We’re effectively hanging on to normalcy in a strange and stressful crisis – we’re not superheroes. Sometimes coping as best you can, focusing inwards and getting through a bad day is an achievement to be celebrated too.” – Cherelle Johannes, Junior Marketing Executive

“Try meditation – CALM, Headspace or the free ones available in the Fitbit app.” – Libby Barber, Contracts Manager

“Download Duolingo if you always wanted to learn another language, just for a bit of fun”Vanessa Exley, Senior HR Business Partner

Lots of exercise, read some books, and order at least one pizza by the end of the year! – Sabrina Phillips, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

“Unplug, and take a walk, even if it’s just around your garden. Get away from screens, mobiles, everything and just disconnect for 30-40 mins a day and see what’s really rattling around in your head when there are no distractions.” – Simon Cornwell, Cloud Hosting Engineer

And finally…

We would like to wish a warm Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our customers, colleagues, family and friends for helping us get through a strange, challenging and unpredictable year.

We hope that you have managed to find your own joy and success through the travails of 2020 and that 2021 brings you an abundance of new discoveries, unexpected chuckles, niche pets, and peculiar hobbies.

Have a well-earned break this festive season, and we look forward to working with you in 2021.

Nächste Schritte

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