You’ve probably heard this term quite a lot recently and may be worried, sad, scared or even happy to have a change from what it was like before. But what impact is/has Covid-19 had on our business and personal lives?
Working from home definitely has its perks. Working in your PJ’s, no travel time from bed to your desk, coffee and snacks on tap plus being in your own home comforts is pretty nice.
However, on the other side of this is the multitude of Zoom calls, webinars and other virtual and online communication/learning which can be completely overwhelming at times. Also, if you have kids, trying to work from home in the current situation reminds us of a “brushing your teeth while eating Oreo’s” kind of moment!
Some questions to ask yourself, your boss or consider for your own business after the pandemic:
- Can you continue to work from home productively?
- Are your staff happier and more productive working from home?
- Is it saving you money for your business having more people working from home?
- Do we really need this meeting? Can we catch up via Zoom/FaceTime instead for 10-20 minutes?
A fantastic part of the lockdown has been that families and friends have made extra time for video calls, quiz nights and catch up drinks all via Zoom or FaceTime. It has been a wonderful experience having the technology to be able to do this. Imagine if this pandemic had happened in the 90’s, what would we have done? Some people (usually the older generation) are not up to date with the technology but this has been a steep learning curve and most of us would’ve learned new skills in lockdown (even if it is just how to use FaceTime).
We can probably all agree that we are much more aware about personal hygiene, hand washing and making sure we are not spreading any germs. Some of us are getting really paranoid, washing products and packaging when we come back from the supermarket or when it has been delivered. We are scared to be close to loved ones in case we pass anything to them and are being extra vigilant and bossy with the kids, if they touch a lamp post or pick up a stick!! Hopefully some of these ways will continue but with any luck we will be able to relax a little.
We’ve pulled together, we’ve clapped every Thursday at 8pm for our wonderful NHS and keyworkers, we’ve set up community help groups on Facebook, we’ve been more aware of our neighbours and their needs. We’ve offered our services of nipping to the pharmacy/shop for those who can’t go because of shielding. There is a sense of community again and this is something we should hold on to even when this horrible pandemic is long over.
The convenience of the supermarket is always going to be there, they supply pretty much everything you need in one place. However, during this pandemic local business has suffered greatly and again the communities have come together to support them. Now having the time to shop from various places (butchers, fish van, farms, etc) and these businesses offering an online facility to order and deliver, many local people are jumping at the chance to be able to support them and get organic, fresh and wholesome food. The new normal will hopefully be filled with more people shopping local and less focus on the supermarkets.
The 7 week summer holiday is usually a scary time for parents, ‘how will be keep them entertained’, ‘what will they eat’, ‘we need to book a holiday’, ‘we need to take day trips’, ‘where will we go today’ or ‘what will we do today’. It’s usually a constant journey of trying to please them. What the pandemic has shown us is that they are absolutely fine (if not better) being at home with their family enjoying crafts, playing with their toys (including digital means), walking in nature and being able to do schoolwork from home. We will never fear the summer holidays again after 5 months of having the kids at home!
Fast Food/Take Away
Many of us were guilty for eating out more than we should or getting that cheeky McDonald’s because we couldn’t be bothered cooking or just because we were so busy. Lockdown has forced us to cook from scratch again and make the most out of the food we have at home. Saving money in the process. Perhaps save those fast food and take away places for a special occasion or a treat rather than a weekly thing.
We have become much more organised and prepared, we are creating meal plans, homework plans, work plans, cleaning plans and the whole family is involved. Working partners are seeing what their stay at home counterparts are dealing with on a daily basis and it’s been eye opening for them. We are saving more money, because we were only allowed to visit the supermarket once a week. We didn’t have the luxury of going in for a pint of milk and spending £98 on stuff we didn’t even need!
Everyday seems to have a different development or a new issue and it can be really scary, even if you are safe at home. Different people and businesses have no idea when they will get back to work or if they can get back to work. Kids were only going back to school part time until yesterday (23rd June 2020) when it was announced that Scottish schools will all be going back full time. Until it changes again. Which is no dig at the government or education establishments because they probably know just as much as us and every day is a learning curve. It’s not easy living a life like this though and it’s starting to take its toll on many of us and our mental health.
It has been horrendous, many people have died, many people have been ill and survived but are still suffering health problems, many NHS workers have died and those of us who have not contracted it or have and been asymptomatic are the lucky ones. It’s scary, and at the height of the peak it was terrifying watching the news every day and seeing that between 700-900 people were dying in the UK per day!
We all hope we never see anything like this again, we hope there will be a cure or a vaccine soon and we hope to get back to ‘normal’ life as soon as possible but perhaps we have learned that the ‘new normal’ may be a good future to move forward into.
What do you think?
Let us know in the comments below or engage with our Facebook or LinkedIn posts.
With thanks to Alison, Claire, Callum and Melissa for their suggestions and comments to help me (Jen) write this blog.