Home > Lockdown, The Monday Musings Column > the lockdown log 1

the lockdown log 1

How does a consultant work in a lockdown? We Skype! (Other video conferencing apps are available). For me lockdown is not that foreign a way of working though for I have been through it in various forms a few times over the years.

In my Youngers days I was something of a sickly child. Hard to believe looking at the hulking brute that I have become, but it was so and I spent many a week in bed with asthmatic problems. My parents had to work and so I would be on my own for the day, with just a lunchtime visit to bring food up to me room. In the bad winter of early 1963 even that was not possible and so I would be left with something to eat for the day. I got used to doing solitary and quite enjoyed it.

Much later, in healthy adulthood, alternative ways of working came to the fore. No longer did you need and office; a mobile ‘phone, laptop and access to hot desks around the country meant that one became location independent as we called it. A brave new way of working and I could spend three, sometimes four, weeks without leaving home. How I spent my time was up to me as long as I delivered the results required of me. In the early days of that way of working I did go through the Going Native phase; fortunately at that time video conferencing was only available through a dedicated service in one of the key offices around the country so I could happily be on the ‘phone directing operations or doing deals whilst sprawled on the sofa unshaven, un-showered and still in the T shirt and jogging pants that I had thrown on when I got up 10 or 12 hours earlier. I grew out of that fairly quickly and would shower, shave and get dressed into at least a smart casual outfit to start my day.

It was common though that I would not have any face to face human contact for days outside of that with the Berkshire Belle and she was out for 10 hours a day Monday to Friday at her office. Somehow it didn’t bother me too much.

Then there was the virtual bid bunker. A bid bunker is where a company sets up camp for its team who will manage their bid for some piece of business, usually in response to an invitation to tender. These were usually in an office somewhere or, if more convenient, in an hotel. The latter were favoured because it literally kept you all together and you would almost work around the clock. Location independent working saw some of the bid bunkers become virtual and you all worked remotely kept in touch by ‘phone and email. Dial in conference calling was available by then and that made virtual bid bunkers more viable; no travel or accommodation costs either.

The advent of Skype and its competitors has expanded virtual working globally. I am working odd hours at the moment on a project with the Far East. This started over the New Year and, fortuitously as it has turned out, we agreed that my participation would be by video conference link rather that have me wasting time, and the client’s cash, hauling back and forth in business class. It looks like an inspired decision  now as I can connect to people for whom my tomorrow has already started many of whom are also working from home in a lockdown situation. The number of pets that want to join in is amazing and amusing .

This lockdown, for me, is seeing an astonishing increase in the number of domestic chores being undertaken and completed, but my DIY exploits are for the next edition here.

Stay safe and my best wishes for you and your loved ones.

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