The 21st century may not have brought us into the world of flying cars, outer space living, and a robotic maid named ‘Rosie’ like it did for ‘The Jetsons’; it does, however, allow us to live in a world where some people can work from home, and conduct essential errands/tasks all from the comforts of their home. And, this has become even more apparent to me (a Technologically challenged individual), since the onset of COVID-19.
On Sunday, March 15th, I was running through my usual nightly routine and getting myself organized for the work week ahead. My workbag was on the chair in the dining room, with my laptop tucked securely into one of the side pockets. My snacks ready for me to grab in anticipation of making my way out the door Monday morning. Setting my alarm for an earlier than usual wake-up time as I wanted to get into the office a bit earlier and get a jump start on my day.
My alarm went off at exactly 5 am on Monday, March 16th. With a hand extended and one eye opened, I fumbled around the nightstand, grabbed my phone and turned off the alarm. As I laid there, trying to motivate myself to get up, I opened up my C+R email to see what the day had in store for me. As I read the email from our President, it suddenly became clear… neither I, nor my co-workers, would be going into the office today, tomorrow, or next week. In fact, we would be working from home until further notice.
I let this notion sink in, and after a while, made my way to my work bag, pulled out my laptop, walked over to the office and turned on my laptop. Little did I know that working remotely from home, as well as performing other tasks remotely, was now going to be my “new normal.”
So, what has changed for this Technologically challenged individual?… A Lot.
C+R is fortunate in that we can conduct “business as usual” even though the “business” is being conducted from home (and potentially in our PJs). Through the use of Skype and other systems, phone calls are being answered, meetings (including video meetings) are being had, and deadlines are being met. Our friendly I.T. staff is able to troubleshoot, solve issues, and keep our computers and systems safe without having to touch our computers physically. It is amazing that despite disruption in routine, a company of 120+ people have come together, and are getting things done regardless of where they are sitting (and what they are wearing).
During this time, C+R has been running weekly Consumer Connections Panels where clients can ask questions to be explored in the live panel with Consumers across the U.S. It has been really interesting watching panelists interact with both the Moderators and other panelists LIVE, and learning how COVID-19 is impacting them and their buying behaviors.
Working Out Remotely
Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a creature of habit. At any part of the day, you will know where I am and what I am doing. This holds especially true when it comes to my gym routine. With the gym now closed, I had to turn to other methods and channels of exercise. A friend suggested I explore the videos on YouTube, and let me tell you, YouTube has become my new gym buddy! Never did I know that so many videos and options were even available. One video ends, and just like that, another one begins. And, based on what I viewed the day before, new recommendations are presented to me every morning. I never knew that so many options and channels were even available to me! I find myself with personal trainers, new routines, and new gym friends who happen to be streaming the same video as I, regards of where in the world they are.
Going to Religious Service Remotely
It took a few weeks, but my church is now set-up to stream their masses live on YouTube. I can now attend weekly masses, and I am now guaranteed to have a seat upfront (even if I arrive a few minutes late).
Remote Happy Hours/Gatherings
Getting together with friends is something that I do quite often. They keep me grounded and sane, so not seeing them is particularly hard during this time. We (along with so many across the world) have been using Zoom to connect. Being able to see them all at once and in a group makes it almost feel like we are sitting together in the same room. Seeing their faces makes me feel not so isolated. And to top it off, I know that my friends will get home safely after our happy hour.
Netflix and Hulu
Prior to COVID-19, I did not use T.V. subscription apps such as Netflix and Hulu. Why pay for a subscription when I wasn’t going to use it very often? Now that I have a little extra time at home, I decided to check out what the hype was about. Now I know! I have now entered into a world of binge-watching all sorts of shows, only leaving the couch for small breaks. Having the ability to watch the next episode right here and now… instant gratification!
During this quarantine, it has really hit me how much of my daily life can be conducted without having to leave home or interact with others. While these remote opportunities are convenient, and I am extremely grateful for having them at my disposal, I look forward to returning to my “old normal”. I look forward to sweating alongside my gym buddies in spin class, seeing coworkers daily, enjoying a laugh with friends over dinner, and even giving a small smile to a stranger as I pass them in the grocery store. But until then, I will continue with my “new normal”, in hopes that this fairly Technologically challenged individual becomes a bit more tech-savvy with each passing day.