What’s one thing you learned from lockdown?
Glyn: We learnt just how much the Zoo animals missed our visitors. The otters, meerkats, giraffes, kea, big cats, sun bear and primates in particular seemed to wonder where everyone had gone, and paid a lot more attention to any staff member or vehicle moving through the Zoo.
Karl: I underestimated just how powerful seeing a familiar friendly face online was to our staff and community. Being able to have simple ‘small talk’ or a children’s storytime online was a critical mental health strategy when in a crisis with high anxiety levels.
Sam: I learned a lot about people in my team – their resilience, the challenges they face in their personal lives and their incredible determination to do the best possible job for their city.
Johnny: Lockdown taught me just how much I value being amongst other people in an office, bouncing off ideas, hearing the clicking of keyboards and the chatter and discussion from colleagues. I think there is a real energy with collective office spaces that often we take for granted and goes unnoticed.
Nicky: No interruptions. Less ‘hui for hui sake’.
Deana: That wonderful people work at council who really care about their jobs and can achieve anything if they put their minds to it.
Jess: When someone needed something there were people there looking out for each other and willing to lend a hand.
Joanne: It really reinforced for me that our teams are so generous and agile at sharing themselves and their skills with customers.
Mathew: We’re a fairly resilient bunch here at the Council.
What was an unexpected positive that came out of the experience?
Sam: The fact that our nation coped so well with an event as challenging and unpredictable as a global pandemic is a great source of optimism for the future and something we should be very proud of.
Justin: Somehow the lockdown and not seeing each other brought us more together than ever. We became a team in the middle of a pandemic. How odd. But it worked and that’s all that mattered.
Deana: Better communication tools. Teams really transformed the way we were able to work and keep in touch with each other.
Glyn: I think Lockdown underscored the bond between our teams, our Zoo and the city, and highlighted just how special the relationship is between Zoo Keepers and the animals in our care.
Sean: The fast improvement in technology has been a real bonus to the way that we work. Council did a fantastic job of ensuring that all who were able to work remotely received all of the support they required to do so. This support has carried on post lockdown and has made many things we do so much easier, all for the benefit of the city and its residents.
Joanne: Customers' willingness to engage with us online, and reconfirm WCL as the library that never sleeps, which we’ve built on in different online services/programmes since.
Amy: It opened up better communication within my team, and a real sense of everyone looking out for, and after, each other.