Forty days into lockdown: Business School resource gives forty insights into the realities of working during Covid-19

Researchers from the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow have created a new resource of stories recording working life during Covid-19.

’40@40’ marks the 40th day of the UK’s lockdown through sharing 40 stories from the UK and across the world about people’s everyday working experiences during this time.

Drawing on the voices of a variety of workers – including zookeepers, employees of L’Oreal, Innis and Gunn, Celtic Football Club and even Jermain Jackman from ‘The Voice’ – the project provides first-hand accounts of what current working life is like, including challenges faced.

It also gives an insight into how quickly businesses have had to evolve to overcome restrictions put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the creative and innovative spirit that has enabled this to happen.

The project is underpinned by academic research about working in times of rapid change, including a focus on moving to a digital work environment, teamworking, health and wellness, and issues of ethics and sustainability.

The resource also explores how people think Covid-19 might influence workplaces of the future and reflects on how we might prepare for the ‘post-Covid-19 world’.

40@40 emerged from a PRME (Principles of Responsible Management Education) initiative within the Business School called ‘DigiGallus’ that was created to prepare and support those Adam Smith Business School’s students entering the world of work for the first time during the pandemic.

Professor Kathleen Riach, Professor of Organisation Studies, who led the project said: “I think we are all in danger of being burnt out by the combination of constant information about Covid-19 while navigating work in a very different set of circumstances.

“As we live through this historic moment, it is inspiring to see how businesses, managers and employees across a range of industries, sectors and jobs have reacted so quickly to change, and are also very sensitive to the challenges faced now and in the future.

“We hope 40@40 helps people who are keen to know how Covid-19 is affecting – and will affect in the future - how we experience the world of work.

“In many ways it’s part of our effort as academics at the Adam Smith Business School to try and support people during this time by putting our research skills to good use to connect people. We’re sharing authentic stories and asking people to pause for a moment to connect with these, to remind ourselves that even though we might not be together, we are still in it together.”