This is a unique experience in all of our lives. With a negative backdrop of being kept away from the rest of our team and from enjoying face-to-face meetings with our customers and with the causes we support, we’ve had the time to focus on what this new normal has taught us and what we might want to remember to hang onto in the future.
Time is different
Working in lockdown has changed the pace of our day. As well as taking care of our work, we are, like many others, ensuring that home schooling is taking place. Our children are older, so we’re not having to be as hands on as those with younger children. However we’re still part of their home school world and interacting as a family during the day at times when we never normally would.
Core hours are still dedicated to the business, the team and our customers, but the structure of the day is more flexible. We can stop for a cup of tea in the garden, eat lunch as a family and enjoy a daily early evening walk. Everything is still getting done, but with the removal of the need for us all to physically be somewhere for specific times, there is less rushing around which adds more ‘bonus time’ and flexibility to the day.
Like the rest of the world, we are communicating with our team and customers via video conferencing. It’s certainly not better than meeting face-to-face, but it works and has taught us that we can go on to use video for some meetings going forward – allowing us to squeeze more from our days, cut down on travel and maintain a bit more calm for everyone.
We have a new sense of appreciation for the set-up we have in normal times. A lovely bright office, full of lovely bright people and everything we need at our finger tips. When we eventually get back to the office, whenever that time will be, we know that we’ll really appreciate all being back together as a team, but with a new level of confidence and flexibility knowing that we are all set up to work remotely too.
The pressures are very different working from home. The lines are blurred between work and home and that can be difficult. We’re lucky that we have an office in our home, but have to move around to make video calls so we don’t disturb each other. With children also needing their own quiet place to study, the jumble between work, school and family life can be quite stressful. For many of the team, working from home means working from a desk in the corner of your bedroom, which makes it harder to switch off at the end of a working day.
Working remotely means not being able to just check in with a member of the team immediately. Having to call each other can be frustrating at times but also gives us a chance to really think through what to say, how to say it and to group things together into one conversation.
We’ve changed and so have our customers
We’ve adapted our business and found new and inventive ways to get things done and meet the needs of our customers. We appreciate that their organisations are changing too and realise the importance of staying in touch so that we continue to understand their changing needs as we all journey and evolve through these times.
Last but not least is kindness. This has always been on our agenda and is a big part of who we are as people and as a business. We think of ourselves as friendly tech experts with big hearts. We deliver all of our projects kindly – ensuring we hold customers hands where they need it and really caring about the work we deliver, ensuring it meets their needs not just for now but also for the long term. Our customer support services are often a source of praise with our customers and we always try to go the extra mile to help when things go wrong. In our local community, we provide opportunities for young people through our apprenticeships and work experience placements, give our time and resource to numerous charities as well as support and recognise other businesses through our involvement with WOBA and OXLEP. We are continuing to do these things as best we can throughout this period.
For now, we want end with this piece with a thank you. A thank you to the kindness we have experienced from our customers through these difficult times. We appreciate the projects we are working on for you and in return will continue to give you our technical expertise and of course our kindness.
Stay safe everyone.