Thoughts on the pandemic

It was pointed out to me this week that 2i have made absolutely no comment on our website regarding the terrible situation that we’re all facing regarding COVID-19.

It’s partly an oversight on my part as we’ve been focused on making sure that our staff and their families are safe, in situations that none of us could have even dreamed of only six short months ago. At the same time, we’ve been doing everything in our power to support our clients in executing whatever contingency plans they’ve put in place to support their ongoing critical projects.

I say only partly an oversight though because, in truth, I’ve been struggling to think of the best way to mention the virus without it sounding contrived and ignorant to the suffering and worry that millions of people across the UK are feeling from both a health and economic perspective. It just didn’t feel like the right thing to do for a long time.

The reality for 2i is that, like most other businesses across the world, we’ve faced huge disruption to how we work and communicate. We’ve put a whole new series of communication channels in place to ensure that all of our staff have access to anyone in the company regardless of where they work or what they do. It seems to be working.

We’ve since moved on from simply trying to reassure our staff in the early stages of the pandemic to actively encouraging them to participate in all sorts of activities from book clubs to quizzes. To a person, they have been absolutely incredible. Keeping 2i tasks moving forward and bringing plaudits from every one of our clients for the way they’ve kept all of their projects on track has been inspirational for me.

From my perspective, Microsoft Teams is my new best friend, hosting meetings wearing a t-shirt that you wouldn’t normally wear to bring in the coal at three in the morning is now second nature and I’ll never forget the look on the faces of some of the team when they first saw my DIY haircut from the weekend before.

I suppose we should all get used to this situation though. Remote working by necessity will be with us for a while yet although I suspect that remote working, by choice, is part of (overused phrase alert) the new normal.

We’re lucky to be working in technology. By its nature we can take advantage of amazingly robust tools and platforms to help us to continue being productive.

For many others, sadly, that luxury isn’t available to them and I can’t finish a Coronavirus-related article without mentioning the staff in our NHS and social care roles. They are simply incredible and the real heroes in this awful story that we’re all living in.

Stay safe everyone.