2021 feels like a triptych of a year. We started those difficult early months in lockdown, once again confined to our homes. We watched and waited as different rules and restrictions were put in place and lived in hope that it would soon be ‘our turn’ as the NHS worked relentlessly to roll out the miracle vaccine that had been developed through incredible scientific effort, with the Oxford vaccine team such a key part of this.
At work, we continued to adapt to different processes, using technology to enable the vast majority of us to do our jobs from the safety of our homes. Technology was also instrumental in bridging the physical gap, allowing us to communicate through video software with our team mates.
Eventually, we moved in to what was to be the brightest part of the year – summer. As major restrictions were lifted, we started to slowly come back into a world which felt more familiar to us. We went on holidays, we visited shops, we were able to enjoy the arts and culture and, most importantly, we saw our friends and families.
We moved, as did many other organisations, to a hybrid model of working, allowing us all the flexibility to work at home for some of the week and in the office for the rest. Although it comes with its own challenges, the hybrid model feels like a huge win. It allows us to find the best place for the specific work that we need to do that day and to manage our other obligations in an integrated way that we’ve never experienced before. This feels like a major step forward in the world of work.
As we enter the final weeks of the year, a new covid variant is once again shaking our lives up, and we’re back to working from home again and wondering what’s coming next. Despite this, we continue to work closely with customers, deliver new projects remotely, update and upgrade for the latest security releases, integrate new technology that has improved our own processes and keep on learning and upskilling as a team.
So, as we look back at 2021, we find many things to be thankful for. For medical innovation and the NHS. For technology that’s enabled us to function in lockdown, out of lockdown, at home or in the office. And for the way that all of you have adapted to working with us in new ways. As we bring this year to a close, we’ll end on a feeling of hope for the coming year.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy Christmas and a bright and beautiful new year.
The team at Olamalu