In the coming weeks, we will follow Tom’s adventures. After the lockdown, he was one of the first ones to return to the office.

The return of the sales reps

There they are: my colleagues in sales arrive at the office. I missed the three musketeers during this lockdown. Sure, we saw each other on Teams, but let us be honest, that is not the same. To start the day on a good note, I offer them some coffee in the kitchen. After three months of not seeing each other, we had plenty to talk about!

First impressions

The first thing I ask them after making sure everyone is doing fine (and their loved ones, of course), is their first impression of coming back to the office.

They tell me they see no big changes. Their desks are exactly the way they left them in March. Nothing changed, except the atmosphere. Everything is calm in the open space. To minimise risks, not everyone was allowed to return at the same time. Plenty of chairs are empty. It is a strange sensation because the open office used to be filled with people, talk and laughter. But this is for everyone’s benefit, and in time, things will go back to normal.

Homeworking vs private life

Homeworking is not new at Auxipress. We are somehow familiar with the concept. But homeworking at 100% is still something else! For some, adjusting to this new life is a tough nut to crack. For others, it was great! We talked about it and realised we experienced the same advantages and inconveniences.

The advantage of working from home is that we work in our comfort zone. We are in our bubble, in our cocoon. Goodbye high heels and tight trousers; hello more comfortable clothes. No more long commutes or aggressive drivers. We can wake up a bit later, are better rested, more zen. Calm rules!

That is to say, calm rules for non-parents, because working with young children in the house is like running the gauntlet. It takes some creativity to keep a child occupied in order to concentrate on work.

Confinement allowed us to reconnect with our families. Some of us had a personal assistant during the lockdown. A kind one, who asked for hugs and lowered stress. I am talking about the assistant on four legs, of course!

For those of us who live alone, it was tough. Especially if we are used to having people around. Fortunately, we have phones, the Internet and video calls, but it never compares to actual face-to-face encounters.

Speaking of which, we all agreed on one thing. Coming back to the office and seeing our colleagues again was great fun.

Being a sales rep in times of COVID-19

Professionally speaking, this COVID-19 business was… special! We were all convinced that the absence of clients and the budgetary restrictions would pose problems.

It is already difficult to get a meeting in normal times, but with the coronavirus, it was even harder, despite a solid attitude, goodwill, and a great deal of positivity.

Video conferences were very useful, but nothing compares to an actual face to face meeting. Video calls are unnatural. The body language is not the same, nor is the non-verbal communication. It was a very difficult time.

Sales work is directly linked to the company’s objectives and turnover. Every business was affected by this evil virus, and everyone was afraid. This fear, which was entirely justified and understandable, increased the pressure on the shoulders of my friends in sales. Together, from a healthy distance, we managed the situation and did the best we could.

Let us look at the positive side of this situation

COVID-19 caused plenty of fear. Not fear for oneself, but especially for the people around us. We were bombarded with information. Fake news was spread all around. But this virus’ cloud also had a silver lining.

It made us laugh. For example, when Léon, Julien’s son, ran into the room and jumped on the bed in the middle of a meeting (which happened approximately 4.822 times in 3 months). Or when Oskar, Géraldine’s cat, felt the irresistible urge to strut in front of the webcam.

It allowed us to recentre, as Chiara told me. Reconnecting with ourselves, what we are, what we want, what matters to us. It allowed us to reconnect with the people around us, but also with nature or exercise.

In short, we must draw positive lessons from it. We should be able to turn this lockdown into a positive experience. Challenging, sure, but positive. That is the attitude and the mentality my colleagues in sales brought back to the office. The motivation is back, and they are ready to take on new challenges!

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