Forty days in lockdown: workers' stories


Today is the UK’s 40th day in lockdown and to mark the occasion researchers from the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow have created a resource of 40 stories about working life during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 40@40 project features stories from across the world in video form and records the experiences of a variety of workers including zookeepers, employees of L’Oreal, Innis and Gunn and Celtic Football Club.

It shows how quickly businesses have had to evolve to restrictions imposed and how individuals and organisations have met the challenges with creativity and optimism.

Kathleen Riach, professor of organisation studies and leader of 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’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.”

The project is supported by academic research about working in times of rapid change, with a particular focus on the move to a digital work environment, teamworking, health and wellness and issues of ethics and sustainability.

The project also highlights how people think COVID-19 could influence the future workplace and reflects on how we can prepare for the post-pandemic world.

Riach added: “We hope 40@40 helps people who are keen to know how COVID-19 is affecting 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.”