My redeployment experience during Covid-19
Throughout Covid-19 our fantastic staff have been taking on new roles to support Somerset’s coronavirus response. We spoke to Mollie to find out about her experience
Tell us about the role you were redeployed into
During the Covid-19 lockdown I was redeployed into the PPE Warehouse Team where I worked part time from April until August. I was involved in a variety of tasks from picking and packing orders for delivery to schools and care providers, to splitting stock (boxes of 1000 aprons aren’t necessary for small care providers), to stock takes and local deliveries. I was keen to be redeployed, particularly within the PPE Warehouse as my previous career was in Retail Management so I am well versed in physical work and stocktaking.
How did you balance this with your day job?
I’m a Project Support Officer within Support Services for Education (SSE). This means that I support projects and lead on recruitment and HR related matters for staff within the service. Both my usual team and the PPE Warehouse team made it easy for me to be redeployed by agreeing for me to work part time in both roles, it meant that work didn’t pile up in either role and gave me a good balance of working from home and in the warehouse.
How was your redeployment experience?
From a personal viewpoint I wanted to be able to help! It was also an opportunity to get out of the house and socialise whilst working during lockdown which was really beneficial for my mental health. I have had the opportunity to get to know colleagues from within teams across SCC (Libraries, Property, IT, Road Safety, Land Surveying, Facilities Management) that I never otherwise would have met which I feel added to the camaraderie and morale of our working environment but has also been useful in terms of working across teams and being less siloed in my approach now that I have returned to my usual role.
The work itself within the PPE Warehouse was largely repetitive (I never want to fold another apron!) but the knowledge that we were helping those carers on the front line made 8 hours of packing boxes worthwhile.
Anything you would say to someone thinking of working for SCC?
Having moved from the private to the public sector a few years ago I can honestly say that the opportunities I have been given during this difficult time and the consideration for my health is unlike anything I would have received in my previous roles. Somerset County Council has offered so many opportunities for employees to be able to balance their lifestyles during this time it has been remarkable, from paid leave for those with caring responsibilities to opportunities for redeployment and availability of equipment to enable homeworking.
The ongoing Senior Leadership Team Q&A meetings run by Pat Flaherty are well received and personally due to these I feel more up to date with all things relating to the council now than before the pandemic.
Mollie Puttock-Jones, Project Support Officer, Support Services for Education