There was once a time when Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams were reserved for business meetings. When phone calls were ways of checking in when you were busy and social media was a welcome distraction. Now, they are the few semblances of the way we lived life pre-lockdown - and boy, are we grateful for them. In the midst of social distancing, communication is a lifeline to keeping us happy and healthy. So this Mental Health Awareness Week, the Petersens team have been talking about how we’re coping during lockdown; what we’re liking, what we’re missing and what we think the future holds.
Here are our thoughts…
“In the creative industry in which we operate, there’s a lot to be said for several skilful communicators in office, bouncing ideas off each other before presenting to clients. Some are seeing the current lockdown as a signal for the death of the office - I completely disagree.
I maintain that old and new members of a team learn from each other; older members not only help the younger newer team members greatly by passing on tips, experiences and contacts, but in return these younger individuals assist the older team members with ideas on latest trends, fashions, ambitions of the Millennials and later generations following this age group. It is of great importance to keep in touch with the generations so that we can address the different audiences with current messages.
Under the current lockdown, I miss the daily updates on family/friends and other conversations you have with colleagues. Such social intercourse cannot be underestimated when building up a team spirit and an environment where characters are built and friendships develop.
In summary, while the ability technically to operate from home does have benefits in terms of less commuting and also cost, for me a return to regular office routine cannot come quick enough”.
Rob Petersen, Managing Director
“Whilst working from home definitely has its perks, I am looking forward to eventually returning to the office. Not having to commute is nice, however it also becomes difficult to distance yourself from work; I find myself thinking of content well after office hours would usually end. Thankfully, I’m getting better at balancing work and free time, as well as finding inspiration during both.
In terms of work itself, we’re quite lucky that most of it takes place online and social media is important right now. We’re a well-connected team and find the time each week to share ideas and discuss plans. Our clients have been great to work with and it’s interesting seeing how their individual industries have adapted throughout lockdown.
I don’t know when we’re going to return to office, but when we do, I think we’ll be able to get into our old routines quite quickly. It’ll be nice to have the social element of the office back and to not have to worry about cramming everything into forty-minute Zoom calls”.
Emily Matthews, Account Executive
“My wife and I are both freelancers and are lucky to have plenty of work at the moment. Our children are young enough to see this as an adventure rather than an ordeal.
The biggest challenge has been juggling work with looking after the children - no matter how many toys, games and other distractions you put their way, a six-year-old and a three-year-old are going to demand a lot of attention.
This means we often take it in turns to work while the other one looks after the children, but it also means we don’t see a lot of each other.
Professionally I’ve enjoyed the unique challenge of helping my clients with their public relations and communications during the crisis. Many have realised the value of PR and that investing in it during this difficult time will help their business in the long run”.
Darren Evans, Freelance PR Consultant
Regardless of how much we’re missing the office, a safe return is priority. We’ll be adhering to all Government guidelines and approaching the situation cautiously, one day at a time. Until then, we’re incredibly grateful to be able to maintain communication with each other and look forward to returning to the Petersens Office.
What are your thoughts on the current situation?