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How Rap Interiors are Coping with the Stress of COVID-19

Due to the current global pandemic we are all facing, the affects of COVID-19 has meant that most of our employees are furloughed. Our Directors, Project Manager and Marketing Manager are the only 6 people working out of our usual team of 16, leaving 10 employees self-isolating in this unprecedented time.

We would just like to highlight that while most of our team are furloughed, enquiries for new interior designs, office fit-outs and school refurbishments are being encouraged to utilise this downtime so that when the lockdown is lifted, projects are ready to commence. Should you have an enquiry for a new project, then don’t hesitate to email our Design Director Julie who is on hand to answer all questions around how we are managing new and current projects.

Our Marketing Manager Franki spoke to everyone at Rap to find out how they were finding the lockdown. Communication has been such an important factor in each team but also as a whole company to ensure we are all there for each during this time. We have a never-ending Rap Company WhatsApp chat as well as every department having their own too. We have weekly Friday Zoom meetings just like we would at the end of the day on a Friday with a beer in hand, trying to hold onto to some sort of normality.

As it’s Stress Awareness Month also, we wanted to see if self-isolation has impacted their stress levels in anyway so everyone has written a little something to share their thoughts and experiences.

Here’s what the employee’s at Rap have to say…

Rick our Managing Director said

I find it hard to stay motivated working from home. In these circumstances I work better late at night when there are less distractions around.

Design Director Julie

filmed a video about how she is coping at home with Otis

Watch the video here

Parry our Projects Director said

Being Projects Director within our family business (and I broaden that word to encompass all our employees) at RAP Interiors has forced upon us a different way of working. For us within the projects team this hasn’t been as hard to implement as other sections of the business, due to our work format previously having the necessity to work both within the office demographic but also obviously externally. However, with sites closing down we have needed to look at doing other things until work returns to some normality, we are therefore carrying out online training and looking at how various elements of procedures we can tweak to improve upon, so that once normality occurs we are in a great place to serve our clients.

We have all learned how to use Zoom and WhatsApp has never seen so much traffic over the different groups we have. So far, the whole company has been keeping great communication over various platforms, I thank all for their hard work and sure we shall come out the other side a better closer-knit company.

Commercial Director Martyn, aka Uncle Mart, said

I miss the team camaraderie but I can still be quite productive working at home, as long as I have structure. Zoom helps for business and social. I try and keep all the guys motivated and keep in touch to make sure they are all ok, a sense of humour is a must at times like this. The weather is certainly helping, taking breaks in the sun is a great way to chill out.

Emily our Operations Manager said

Work was always going to be a slightly more stressful place at present with the mention of the dreaded C word as we all know it comes with a lot of unknowns and added pressures, whatever your situation.

For me I have found it a completely different challenge as I was already adapting to working whilst being pregnant, but with the recent pandemic this got cut a lot shorter then planned and I have become a lot more accustomed to the same 4 walls which I call my ‘home’ being in self isolation being classed as ‘high risk’.

With the little bundle (my first) ready to drop anytime this month, I already have no idea of what to expect but with COVID-19 around it has added extra pressure and also worry on how do you bring a human being into this world right now?

Trust me the stress levels shot through the roof on that one!

However, this is where for me the NHS have really been supportive to parents to be, and despite having to make major changes such as no partners attending any appointments such as scans, blood tests etc and the huge unknown of whether you can even have the dad with you during labour is extremely daunting – I can’t thank the local midwife team enough for just keeping in touch, trying to reassure everyone that everything will be fine and that you just have to remember baby and you come first.

I’ve also joined local Facebook groups of first timers in the same situation and it’s nice to share advice and talk about what others are experiencing or what the local hospital is doing to help.

Having also ZOOM and WhatsApp communication has also been great just to keep in contact with everyone from friends, family and also work colleagues – I don’t feel like anything is wrong or that I’m alone.

This is a huge learning curve for me and I feel I am conquering it and remember any other mums-to-be out there, we’ve got this!

Carolyne our Marketing and Customer Service Assistant said

As Marketing Assistant and being put on the Furlough Scheme I have been looking at ways of keeping busy whilst at home so I have been researching and trying to keep up with social media trends on my home computer so hopefully will have lots of interesting ideas to put into action once I return back to work. Rap are offering a lot of online training to help improve on in house procedures and on line software training which again we can put into place once we return to the office and which I am hoping will give me the tools to improve my customer service skills, as well as extended excel training.

We have all been learning on how to keep in touch with Rap members by the use of Zoom and WhatsApp, which have been essential to keep our communications going. This has been brilliant method to promote staff in touch meetings with other members of Rap and have been vital in keeping up morale.

Scott our Senior Designer said

Stresses of being on furlough as both my wife and I are both on furlough. We are worried about having jobs to return to, whilst in the mean time, both getting only 80% of our wages so it’s a worrying time to make sure the bills are paid and there is enough food on the table as there is 7 of us in our household.

Sarah our Designer said

I am trying to make the best out of a bad situation, everyone is in the same boat globally and remaining positive is the key ingredient as stressing isn’t going to get people anywhere. Being able to go out and see people is what I miss but I am making the most of the additional time I have to do things that I’ve lost touched with or thought about doing but never got round to doing because of time. Yes it can be lonely by yourself, it’s an odd situation but dwelling on that isn’t healthy and by keeping yourself busy by keeping in touch with people, exercising and getting outside for some fresh air etc helps to keep me up beat.

Alice our Design Assistant said 

It’s difficult being confined to the house with the occasionally walk to the shop; being frequently beaten at chess and darts is frustrating but is a good way of keeping the mind focused and entertained without the need of a screen.

Gavin our Senior Estimator said

To beat the stress of being furloughed and not able to work, I practice tying knots to keep my mind active.

Jim our Estimator Said

I’m seeing being furloughed as a once in a lifetime opportunity (hopefully) to spend time with my family, they keep me too busy to be bored or stressed. Anyway 2 months inside is easy, nothing compared to my last stretch.

Ben our Projects Assistant said

What I find most stressful about being furloughed and not being at work is the change to my normal day to day life and a change of routine. However for a change of scenery and some exercise I like to go on runs and dog walks.

Still Get in Touch… 

As said, our current working team of 6 are still on hand to deliver the same level of service you would expect from us. You can fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.