Keep smiling while homeworking

Keep smiling while homeworking

On this very special period we are all living in, how are our colleagues doing? How does everyone organise their work? Do they have some funny stories or tips to share? In order to share some insider stories about how a media intelligence company adapted and, maybe to bring a smile in your days, we propose a series of testimonials. To start, as self-designated volunteers: the marketing team and particularly our Customer Marketing Specialist.

The situation we currently face is not easy for anyone. COVID-19 pushes us to take drastic measures, among which the infamous confinement. The lucky ones among us can turn to telework. Confinement and telework are supposed to be pleasant and beneficial, but is that truly the case? We will try to answer that question by looking at a typical day in confinement.

We wake up at 8:15 am instead of 6:45 am, meaning that we had 1.5 hours of extra sleep. Oh, joy! There is no need to get dressed, but it is nonetheless recommended to stay in the “work” mindset. We also do not need to wash, although that may be too much information. We can take our time for breakfast, and we no longer lose time in traffic jams. That means we do not have to cope with stressed-out people behind the wheel or others who think that using the indicators is optional. It is also beneficial for the planet, given that there is less pollution.

It will soon be 8:30 am; the workday is about to start. We put on a T-shirt and a pullover, and off we go. There is no need to cover our lower body half, which saves us both room in the washing machine and money. The video conference can commence!

Video conferences are crucial, not only for the excellent functioning of the company but also for people’s mental health. Being confined means that one has to make do without friends and social relations. Unless you cannot stand your colleagues, which is not the case for me, then seeing them every day is a pleasant experience. Seeing them only once per day is, however, not enough. To maintain relationships with your colleagues, you have to be creative and innovative. Do not hesitate to tag your colleagues in ridiculous or dumb posts on social media, and share things that remind you of them via WhatsApp. My team shares a lot of posts focusing on food, preferably of the unhealthy kind. To show you how important that is to the marketing team, which I am part of: We have even designated a food manager (“bouffe” manager for the friends).

Once the video conference is a thing of the past, it is time to move on to serious matters and make sure that the company can continue moving forward despite the crisis. At least, that is the theory. In practice, things are much more challenging to manage.

Firstly, since the confinement has entered into force, the nice weather has returned. I am confident that whoever is in charge of weather management is mocking us. We have bad weather for an entire year, except when we are not allowed to go outside. Rather frustrating, don’t you think?

Secondly, for all those who have pets (myself included): Have you noticed that they ask more attention? Just like children, they do not understand what is going on. They see you 24/7, and even though they can go outside less often, they are happy. Happy to be with you. They ask to play with them and pet them all the time, and if you refuse because you are working, they look at you with big, teary eyes that make you change your mind. I have even read an article several days ago, which stated that a lot of dogs are injuring their behinds because they are too happy to be with their owners. However, there are downsides to everything. We have a “give-and-take” situation with our animal friends. In exchange for petting them, we ask something in return. The confinement makes us a bit crazier with each passing day, and to help pass the time. We do things that we would not usually do, or at least less often. We teach our pets useless tricks such as dancing, we make them wear human clothing, or we dress them up as soothsayers. Am I the only one who sees them judging us?

Of course, we do not only do crazy stuff with our animals. For my part, I have already surprised myself by participating in a social media challenge which consisted of feeding bread to a duck-shaped toilet cleaner.

I also amuse myself by shaving my beard, but leaving my moustache, to see if that suits me, although I know full well that is not the case. I also had the mad idea of trying to put my closet filled with junk in order and to order a sticker of a dog wearing a Christmas hat for my car, even though I knew all too well that I would be too ashamed to stick it on my car. Another crazy idea was to create my own, Nutella-based scrub (spoiler alert: I strongly advise against doing this).

The confinement and telework have their benefits and drawbacks, but the important thing is to keep smiling and have fun. There is not much we can do – if anything – against this virus, but we can lighten the mood.

Stay home, stay safe, save lives and… Keep smiling!

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