Working from home – the new normal?

Working from home - Small home office set up in a sunny garden, laptop and coffee cup on the table beside a white chair with a yellow cushion.

Working from home.

Covid-19 has shifted the world on its axis, everything looks different now. I wrote this working from home in my garden enjoying my morning coffee in eerie silence. No traffic sounds, no planes overhead, nothing but birdsong and the occasional dog bark. It was beautiful, the sun was shining and for a good 20 minutes, I forgot about all the crazy shit going on in the world.

Business as usual?

The number of people like me, working from home remotely has spiked almost overnight into the millions and it requires some adjustment – not being with colleagues every day and all the bants that come as part and parcel of being in an office environment is challenging. It’s still early, but if I’m honest I already miss being at work. I miss all the big personalities in our team, their support and the camaraderie we share. We’ve got systems in place to maintain a sense of normality – regular WhatsApp group messages, jokes and memes are keeping things light. Online, we’re behaving in much the same way we would at work, asking each other about our day, what we had for lunch (including pics), etc. Video conference calls are working well for us too because it’s really important to be able to ‘see’ people to feel connected but it’s not really Business as Usual is it?

To begin with, all businesses were keen to roll out that message, but I think it’s ok now to admit we have tough times ahead of us. All the uncertainty and daily changes to our status quo are stressful for business owners and employees everywhere but what unites us all is that we’re in it together – ALL of us – and now more than ever we need to look out for each other.

Find the positive.

Loads of lovely positive stories are popping up about individuals and businesses temporarily offering products and services online for free, everything from fitness classes, yoga, and meditation to creative software for students. Individuals are helping too, hundreds of thousands of volunteers in the UK have joined local Facebook support groups set up for the virus and there’s even a website where you can donate your computing power to medical researchers trying to beat this virus along with other life-threatening conditions. It’s amazing and brilliant just how resilient we humans are but the best consequence of the coronavirus has to be the global reduction in pollution due to everyone having to stay home as reported in this BBC news article! Every cloud eh?

Embrace change.

We have no choice but to embrace a different way of life right now, but we can choose to view it as an opportunity rather than a problem. Work slowing down (or even stopping for some) is a chance to get creative, share ideas and plan ahead. When do we ever get the headspace to do that? During the downtime, we can virtually roam the halls of some of the world’s best art galleries or attend a new kind of creative happening tonight at 6 pm – More info here

Focus on the future.

M&P is firmly focussed on Q3 of this year and our lovely clients are showing their support. One, in particular, has asked us to invoice in advance of a postponed event, a loyal gesture that shows solidarity with us as their partner agency. It’s a humbling act of kindness and shows true empathy. Together we’ll be ready when this is all over – and it will be over. Our current state is temporary because nothing ever stays the same, everything changes so we need to remain strong and determined to get through it.

Be kind.

Staying connected is good for our mental health, so is helping others. Showing love and compassion not only to family and friends but to neighbours and strangers too gives the feel-good factor. We’re in this together, all of us, so let’s be kind.

Stay home, stay safe and we’ll see you on the other side. 😉

#BeKind #StayAtHome #SaveLives #ProtectTheNHS