Congratulations to all of our 2021 Essay Competition Winners who answered:
What did the perfect day look like in the different stages of the pandemic? What does it mean for future productivity at work?'
Read all of the winning essays below - we are sure that you will be just as inspired as we were after reading them.
Ian Hamilton (Doctoral student, Department of Statistics)
''My essay discusses the interconnectedness of work productivity with other productivities in our lives, both our own and of those around us. For example, many of us feel more able to be productive at work if we are sleeping well or have got into a good fitness routine, or if our work colleagues are themselves productive. But the pandemic, in promoting homeworking, has changed the level of influence that each of those other productivities have on our work, and vice versa. As a parent who derives significant wellbeing from a broad sense of productivity it was a question of personal interest''.
Winner - Undergraduate Category
Anoushka Maini (History of Arts)
''My prize-winning essay explored what came to define the perfect day throughout different stages of the pandemic, through an Orwellian lens. I contended that distinct, evolving lockdown structures set out through Parliamentary law moulded how one went about their life and sought daily utopian perfection. I underscored the significance of maintaining one’s physical, material and spiritual state through mindful customs. I provided solutions in manifesting gratitude even during periods of great disruption and unpredictability, such as taking regular diary entries. Most notably, I pointed towards the huge importance in which enhancing contact (albeit digitally) with family and friends (both old and new) has in terms of grounding one’s thoughts and putting them into positive relativity. Moreover, I addressed the potentially beneficial and detrimental facets of future productivity at work, specifically in relation to the reformulated ‘hybrid’ model of combining in-office and work-from-home frameworks. The theme of this essay competition encouraged me to observe personal, corporate and societal shifts post-pandemic, as well as to analyse the contrast between the parameters of ordinary reality and ‘perfection’, between collaborative team-building and developing autonomous resilience. I concluded that the pandemic has largely prompted individuals to re-consider ways in which they can flourish – both at home and in the workplace''. Anoushka