Coronavirus or as it should really be known COVID-19 has arrived. Ok so it’s been here for a while or at least on our radar since January but this week has been the first full week of work being 100% remote as we battle this horrible illness. I’m going to blog about this and what happens to look back on in years to come should I survive.
I have been watching the movement of this disease for some time now since it reported on the news. I’ve had a few sleepless nights about it, spent many an hour reading about how it caused havoc in China and more recently Italy. I’ve spoken to many people about this topic and I probably sounded a little over cautious. “You won’t get it Dan, it’s not even over here”.
Well now it is. It is here and it’s knocking on the door.
Now that might sound a bit dramatic. Most people who get it only have it mildly and I’m still of an age probably where should I get it have a good chance of shaking it off. But we can’t be certain. I’m 41, still young I guess and while I’m not a wreck, I’m nowhere near as fit as I should be or as thin so yeah, I do fear it because I might get seriously ill.
But put aside that for a minute. I have relatives in a much higher risk category plus I have kids. It isn’t just about me. I know the data points are certain trends but it doesn’t stop you thinking about the worst case scenario.
Last week, all the team began working from home. As someone who works from home most weeks for two days, I was already pretty geared up for it but it was cool to see how quick everyone was setup and ready to go. We pretty much are remote already but all sat in the office with apps like Slack and Hangouts and of course everyone’s fave Jira so taking the office out of the equation didn’t cause too many issues if any.
Fast forward a week and I have to say it’s still a bit new for some but overall I think we’re doing ok. I can’t speak for anyone else obviously but what I take from it so far is:
- I concentrate more in calls.
- I make notes, lots of notes whereas I probably never lift the pen in face to face meetings.
- Meetings work better if you have someone chairing it.
- I value the face time a lot. Hours of not speaking to someone can take it’s toll and the more I’ve done it, I’ve realised I need that human interaction so having calls has been enjoyable.
- I’m learning a lot about people I work with. Have known some for 2 / 3 years and know very little about them. That is changing.
- I need breaks to think and being at home means I can do that easily without effecting others. I’m not talking hours away from the desk, I’m talking about maybe making a drink, putting some washing on or washing the pots or even watching the news although that is possibly a bad thing right now. I’ve found having that little bit of freedom and trust makes the day go easier. Sure some might take the piss, it’s inevitable but it’s still a new thing right. Over time, those kinks will get ironed out.
- I work longer hours that’s for sure but also I’m more productive early morning or late at night. Between the hours of 11am and 3pm, I just don’t function that well. Also not having a 4 hr commute is saving me so much time to think, plan and I’m producing better work as I am so chilled, well as chilled as you can be with what is going on.
I won’t lie. I love working from home. I need to be busy though. And it’s not always right for everyone.
I really don’t know what to make of what is happening. It feels like we’re at the start of something big. Many take it seriously, many other don’t. That might change over the coming days. Shopping is a twat. Half my order never turned up. I get it, it can’t be easy to supply the nation when people are stripping the shelves bare. But can you blame them? There is little coming from the leaders except confusion and often silence. People are scared.
I spent 30 mins today going through my pasta and putting it into 100g rations. It’s mental but it helped me think about the challenge ahead. We might not get what we want. Trying to explain to the kids that maybe they’ll have to eat stuff they are not 100% happy about. It’s tough knowing that you need to buy as soon as you can so that you are not left without once it runs out. It’s human nature to survive and that is what we are doing in reality.
Even typing this sounds so over the top as it feels so calm out there until you walk into an Asda or Tesco.
It’s surreal, like a dream.
Roll on week 2