The Coronavirus outbreak (or Covid-19 if you want to be particular) has dominated the headlines over this week. There has been speculation, isolation and even legislation, as our leaders attempt to get a handle on how to handle the situation best. We still don’t know what best is, although plenty are prepared to speculate.
We have also seen a large amount of disruption to the world of work and lots of event cancellations to come. I have had three work events cancelled already, including a trade show, teaching session and networking event. In the world I write for, the National Homebuilding and Renovation Show has been pushed back to July and PR Week are running a live blog on the impact on the PR industry.
Elsewhere, activist, campaign and charity groups I work with are planning for medium-term home-working and changes to the way that they campaign. After all, no one wants you waving a petition and biro under their nose when there is a virus afoot. The NHS and others are also turning to social media to get their message across, rather than the noticeboard in the GP’s waiting room.
This shift towards home-working (which is great if you are lucky enough to not be a loo roll delivery driver, NHS worker or care worker etc) could well change our world of work forever. But it also brings a whole new set of hazards with it, from loneliness and lack of discipline to struggles over which pyjamas to wear to the office and how much daytime TV is too much.
As someone who has been a freelance for the best part of 25 years, I feel somewhat qualified to comment on working from home. For example, if you buy biscuits you will eat them all that day. You will become a recipient of all your neighbours’ Amazon deliveries and you will work out the correct angle so that you can Skype in a shirt and your pyjama bottoms. You will also become adept at picking the best Skype background (that bookshelf with the intellectual/business/your own titles on) to impress clients during briefing calls and meetings.
You’ll get more done, but you’ll also feel guilty about taking lunch breaks or walking in the park (you need to walk in the park, believe me). The getting more done is one reason that I never feel bad about quoting a day rate way higher than the pro rata salary for an equivalent staff member, not to mention the savings in National Insurance. Well, that and the fact I’m good.
So, if you need a reliable freelance who knows his way around a crisis and his way around his own kitchen, TV remote and pyjama collection then do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.