A New Way of Working

Covid-19 is certainly creating havoc on our world and we are all trying to find ways of coping with this new reality. 2020 has felt like a bad dream so far, with the devastating bush fire season here in Australia burning over 18,000,000 hectares, leaving towns decimated and 34 people killed. During which the surrounding regions (including Canberra) was shrouded in thick debilitating toxic smoke for months. That was followed by a huge hail storm here in Canberra damaging many houses and writing-off tens of thousands of cars. And now Covid-19.

With over 1,600,000 confirmed cases world-wide and over 100,000 deaths – and climbing. It’s tugging at the threads of our society – threatening to unravel everything we know. Governments around the world grapple with balancing the need to contain the threat, treating the health of its people, support their daily needs as unemployment soars and businesses close, all while managing its economy and planning for the day to bring the economy out of hibernation once we emerge from the shadow of Covid19. Not an easy balancing act to undertake.

I often think about all those who lost everything in the fires during our summer, they seem to have been lost to this new chapter in history. Occasionally you’ll catch a glimpse of a story, but that’s it.

For the majority of us our part is to physically isolate ourselves, to stop the spread of the virus. This has seen drastic actions by our governments to curb a lot of our personal liberties and our ability to move around. While I support the actions taken by our governments, and the need for such actions … a little bit of me worries at just how quick and easy our freedoms can be pulled and how enthusiastically police forces police such measures. I just hope that the legislation supporting the current crisis has good sunset clauses to turn this all off when it’s over.

2019 seems so long ago. In only a few short months everything has changed. Working from home was a pipe dream, now it’s the new mantra. Within weeks over 97% of my Department has been able to work from home. The same for schooling with the majority now learning online from home. Just a couple of months ago these changes could not have been fathomed – now they are reality. We have probably seen ten years of change in weeks.

How will we look back on this..? How will this affect our psyche..? What will we take away from this..?

It’d be nice to be able to click our ruby slippers and go home, wake up from this nightmare called 2020. But we can’t…

I am under no illusion, I am very fortunate. I have a good stable job that I can do from home. That isn’t the experience of many Australians who’s workplaces have closed and who’s future now is uncertain.

The transition to working from home has been relatively easy. However it is a very different rhythm of working. I realise just how much I bounce off those around me. I am having to adapt my management style to accommodate this new way of working.

The Department must have looked like a warehouse as people walked out the door with their tablet, monitor, keyboard and mouse, and in some cases their office chair. I had to go to the office the other day and it felt gutted. Such a weird feeling.

My New Office

Deb’s craft room is normally a hive of activity with classes most days, and preparing for classes when there’s not. Now its just the two of us.

Our workplace … sorry Deb’s craft room with me in my place … the corner. The room has been transformed into an office, a craft room, and a studio. Two weeks in and I am enjoying sharing the space with Deb – doing our own thing … together.

For Deb however, it has hit her business much harder as her paper craft business is 100% face-to-face. Her business isn’t just selling products, it’s a social connection, an outing for many of Deb’s elderly customers. Bringing people together sharing a common passion, a chat, and friendship. And also to sell product. While there are a number of very successful online Stampin’ Up! demonstrators, their businesses are geared at purely selling product. Deb’s business is personal, bringing people together. Her classes don’t lend themselves to online very well. So for a number of years Deb has shy’ed away from going online. We’ve talked about it, but it never really got beyond that.

With social distancing restrictions in place, Deb had to cancel all her classes. This has challenged Deb to find other ways to support her customers and provide classes. While Deb has had a blog for a few years she never really got into it and the thought of doing videos was just over-whelming.

While going online won’t help all her customers it will hopefully help a number with ideas and projects to do while they are in quarantine. So we have set up a small video studio to get Deb started.

Video Studio

Our Studio:

  • Overhead Camera Stand – I looked at using a boom mic stand I had with a 1/4″ adapter for a camera; but in the end I went for a double braced phone stand designed for a GoPro or phone.
  • Camera – I tried using a GoPro but these are designed more for scenery and action not close-up work. I opted to use my Samsung S9 and I am currently playing with the Filmic Pro (originally developed for iPhone and now also available for Android) and the older Cinema FV-5 video apps as the standard video recorder on the phone was very frustrating as you cannot lock it into landscape mode, and it has fairly limited settings.
  • External Mic – I’m using a Rode VideoMic Me external microphone to improve the audio.
  • Backgound – An appropriate coloured backdrop to display a nice contrast without being too stark.

Here is Deb’s first instructional video that’s been embedded into one of her blog posts. I think it’s came up really well.

We still have a bit of a learning curve using the different platforms and how best to make them work together and move people to Deb’s online store (shameless plug). But I think it is safe to say that she is on her way now.

The next step is to translate this into sales.

I recently came across a blog article and this bit jumped out at me – with all the effects of Covid19 being reported around world, I know we really haven’t discussed what we have lost …

No matter your age, stage of life or length of marriage, we must acknowledge this fact: We’re all experiencing losses at the moment. 

You are. Your partner is. For some of us, the losses are immediate and frightening, even grave. People are losing their jobs. Their businesses. And some have lost loved ones, friends, neighbors or colleagues.

For many, the losses in our lives may not be as tangible, but they still hurt. All pain is real pain. In fact, take a moment in the next day, if you can, and ask your partner: “What do you miss most from life ‘before’ quarantine?” No matter their response, you have just one job: Listen with an open heart, do not offer a fix-it response, and then reach out and hold them tight in a big, 60-second-plus embrace.

For the complete article on how to keep quarantine from ruining your marriage.

How to keep quarantine from ruining your marriage
Apr 2, 2020 / Carol Bruess

And for a laugh at my expense… I was mucking around testing the studio setup and when I showed it to my daughter which she promptly posted on Facebook.

Stay safe everyone.

6 thoughts on “A New Way of Working

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s