I am currently working from home. Nothing has changed because that’s what I have been doing intermittently for years. Yet, it does seem strange because it is business as usual in one sense. However, in other ways nothing could be further from the truth.
Home schooling is going on downstairs, shopping has become something resembling an end of the world movie and I am doing my best not to become completely addicted to news updates that ping on my phone.
We are awaiting further instruction from the government and levels of anxiety are beginning to build. However, whenever I pick up the phone to both clients and colleagues I receive the same message:
‘We are working from home but keeping a 24/7 operation going.'
I think this is amazing and it’s highly commendable. I play my part in the Food and Drink Industry and I can honestly say I am so very proud of what everyone is doing to fulfil unprecedented demand in a fast-moving crisis.
Food production itself still needs to continue, regardless of circumstance
And I know big production units are working flat out to maintain shelves that look something like normal. What I have noticed too is that palpable sense of people reaching out to help wherever they are able. Everyone is in this together. Everyone is doing their bit and right now everyone is more-or-less managing.
However, it is obvious there are likely to be even more serious challenges ahead; but we just can’t give up. What we have to bear in mind is:
· What will come from this profound change when the worst is over?
· What have we discovered already?
We know that we can be probably more productive working from home
Also, there are blue skies over countries that are usually shrouded in air pollution. We have seen fish returning to the canals in Venice and there is so much less litter on the pavements. We will reassess how we live our lives and what really matters.
The lesson I guess we will all take from this is that we need to change and embrace a new normal.
However, none of us really know what that new normal looks like yet. There will be a profound shift in the way people work and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a four-day week perhaps. However, traditional ways of communicating are coming back into fashion augmented by some tech. Picking up the phone has become far more popular, video conferencing is de rigeur. People really do want to talk and they appreciate a call. I have reached out and asked if there is anything I can do. My own supply chain has offered to support me as they are in it for the long haul. Our plan is to stick together and keep on doing what we have been doing, with a few creative tweaks for good measure.
It’s been interesting to see the government’s response and their introduction of new measures to help businesses.
We need flexibility, to be able to cover self-isolation challenges, even for as few as 14 days. We have to be able to do just what it takes whenever we are called upon.
As smaller businesses and consultants we have to rely on our own efforts
Therefore our flexibility, agility and creativity will play a significant part in how we work. We know business will fail but I am certain people will offer help, advice and practical solutions because as I said, we are all in this together. What this virus has taught us is that we are inter-connected and we need to collaborate with one another to beat this. We have a choice, we can throw up our hands in horror and say, ‘there’s nothing I can do’ or we can say, ‘I’m going to give this challenge my all and show the world that we are all standing together (metaphorically of course.) How are you feeling right now?