End of Week 1 of Social Distancing
Covid-19 is making us all think creatively about how we manage and organise our working lives. At the end of last week the Prime Minister asked us all to take steps to maintain a social distance in order to halt the transmission of the virus. So over the weekend we gave some thought to what we could do so far as home working was concerned.
Experimenting With Home Working
As a digital marketing agency we’re lucky that much of our work takes place online. We do, however, have a core team who work together in our main office to co-ordinate our social media, content creation and web design accounts. We wrote to them over the weekend to explain that we were going to move to a home working set-up, in order to limit our social contact.
These are difficult times for everyone, so we emphasised that this wasn’t forever, and that we’d all be learning together how to manage this new situation. None of us knew at that time how the situation would develop across the country in the week to come, so we reassured everyone that we’d be reviewing the arrangements every few days.
Working Out How to Work
Digital marketing is reliant on good communication online and off. We work with online project boards to manage accounts, so that was already in place. As to the social communication, we started off with a FaceTime meeting at the time we would normally start work. It was odd, but we’ve all got more used to meeting like this 2 or 3 times a day, and now it feels pretty normal. In-between we message each other regularly, and call when we need to.
Getting Used to Working From Home
When you’re used to going to work each day, working alone from home can be daunting – especially when the world can sometimes feel like it’s in meltdown. Over the course of the week we’ve all been absorbing some big changes to our ways of life, including – most recently – the fact that the schools would be closing for an indefinite period.
What have we learnt from our first week of home working? That checking in with how everyone’s doing personally, every day is critical. Apart from the online meetings, we try to have a one-to-one phone catch-up with people every couple of days. And if anyone has symptoms, we refer them to 111 immediately. Luckily that hasn’t been the case so far.
Tips for Successful Home Working
Not sure how useful these will be for others, but they’re gleaned from our first week:
- Daily Goals. Every day we ask everyone to set their goals for the day. Then at the end of the day we catch up on their progress. This is all about keeping a clear structure in place for everyone.
- Taking Time to Talk. At the start of the week our morning FaceTime sessions were short and sweet. Now they’re more relaxed, and we spend time sharing how we’re coping with looking for loo roll, and not being able to go to the pub.
- Keeping it Honest. Our employees, like everyone else, are anxious about the impact Covid-19 may have on their work. So we’re honest with them about our planning, and our contingency measures. We’re all in the same boat, here.
- Cutting Some Slack. Everyone has had a day this week when they’ve said they’ve found it hard to concentrate on work. I’m glad they’ve been able to say so. It’s a big adjustment and we all need to support each other – whilst still getting the work done.
- There’s a Bigger Goal Here. We’ve all found it important to remember that what we’re doing now is freeing up NHS beds and saving lives. It doesn’t feel like it – we’re just staying in – but it’s massively important that we do it.
How Did We Do?
Not bad, not bad at all. Our current accounts are all up to date and we’re working particularly hard on behalf of clients who find themselves on the front line of social and medical care. We’re anxious, like everyone else, but we’re really thankful to be able to maintain our work whilst all this is going on.