Catharine Haywood shares her take on week three of WFH…
We’re a pretty upbeat team here at Black Vanilla but even we have to admit that, as we adjust to a new way of working under lock and (pretty much) key, we’ve been riding the tide of good days and bad.
There are certainly some advantages to working remotely; tea rounds are much quicker when you’re sticking the kettle on for one, and it’s easier to focus without the buzz of client meetings/calls and general office gossip.
However, as week three closes, and we all face the threat of the lockdown slump, we wanted to share a few things we’ve been doing to keep our working days on track and the team connected.
Keeping in touch
We’re in the business of communication and we’re used to spending a lot of time together as a team, so it’s odd (and slightly rubbish) to be apart. However, we’ve embraced technology and have been scheduling daily face-to-face meetings to check in with each other, it’s been a huge help.
Google Hangout and Zoom have been a brilliant way of hosting our Monday morning meetings and generally catching up with each other and client work. Importantly, we make time to check in with each other’s general wellbeing, our chat isn’t just about client work, we make sure we connect on a personal level as well.
We have to give a nod to Google Chat, too, which has been keeping our account teams connected and on track with deadlines and campaign planning.
Staying connected with suppliers
We know that it’s a difficult time for everyone but, as a small community here in Guernsey, we’ve been worried about how our clients and suppliers are coping in the current climate.
Regular calls, emails and account activity means our clients are looked after but, with event suppliers taking a hit, we’ve been picking up the phone to offer support and advice where we can. We know that not all of our suppliers have a big team to lean on; we can’t wait to work together again but, in the meantime, we’re riding out the storm together.
Sticking to a routine
Okay, so maybe the high heels will be left in the wardrobe for a while (and frankly we’re worried about squeezing back into anything tailored) but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t working in the same way, or just as hard.
Yes, as a team, we may have to factor children of various ages into the working-day mix, but we’re still online and a phone call away for clients from 9-5. It’s business as usual, even if our calls might get ‘video-bombed’ by small people once in a while!
We know that our clients are trying to adapt too so we’re finding ways to hit deadlines, meet budgets, manage face-to-face meetings and confirm strategies collaboratively and all within the working day.
Following trusted news sources
As PR practitioners, digesting news and information just comes with the territory. We’re always looking at how it impacts the industries our clients work in and we also know how important it is to trust our sources.
Social media is a big part of the day job but we know it’s a huge generator of rumour and miscommunication too. We’re sticking with the sources we trust and making sure that we rely on news that’s accurate, objective and timely so we can inform our clients accordingly. And, we never thought we’d say it, but we’re even switching off once in a while. It’s easy to reach coronavirus saturation point so we think it’s okay to mute our alerts and news apps once in a while (shhhh!).
Looking after ourselves
When you’re used to life in the BV office, working from home is a massive break from routine but we know it’s still important to look after ourselves from Monday through to Friday.
We’ll be the first to admit we’ve looted supportive chairs from the office to keep our posture in check, and we’re still using regular breaks to boost our energy and concentration levels. Granted, we might be eating more snacks but it’s nice to have healthy choices just a fridge away. We’ve also found some great apps to keep us healthy of mind and body, while we’re relying on local practitioners< to give us a virtual helping hand too.
We’ve been having a laugh – together
It’s not an easy time for anyone at the moment, but we know that we’re all in it together and we’ve been trying our best to stay positive.
We’ve been having weekly team virtual drinks (let us know if you want to join us and we’ll send you an invite!), and we’ve been enjoying the local competitions and quizzes that have been doing the rounds – it’s been quite revealing about our personal motivations!
We’re really impressed with how Guernsey has pulled together in the face of such huge adversity, and we’re really proud to be part of that community. We also know that there’s help available when the going gets too tough so we’re sharing information to make sure that we’ve all got each other’s backs. #GuernseyTogether.
Coronavirus Cookie Jar
Oh, and every time we’ve even thought of saying, writing or hearing one of these words, we’ve been popping an imaginary pound in the Coronavirus Cookie Jar. We’ll certainly be piling on the pounds when we get back to the BV Pod, even if they are hypothetical!
- Covid crisis
- WFH – it doesn’t even sound like an acronym any more
- The new normal
- Two metres