Remote Working during a Pandemic
By Tanya McDonald, Marketing Executive, IMGS
Last year on March 12th the Taoiseach of the time, Leo Varadkar, gave a landmark speech from Washington announcing a raft of Covid restrictions for Ireland, which included the closure of schools and a switch to remote working for those that could. Little did we know that this would be the ongoing reality for a large cohort of the population over a year later.
Following that announcement, my kitchen table doubled up as a classroom and home office in between mealtimes during the day. Multi-tasking took on a whole new meaning as I took on the role of teacher alongside my day job!
Home Schooling Support
In what was a very difficult situation, the schools offered as much support as they could by providing a combination of recorded lessons on Seesaw and Google Classroom, scheduled zoom calls and a timetable of work for the week. The structure enabled my children to work mostly independently and freed me up to get my work done. The RTE Home School Hub also provided some respite for an hr a day when I needed time to concentrate.
Transition to Remote Working
I have found the transition to remote working easy enough this past year, as in-person meetings were replaced with Microsoft Teams meetings and day to day operations within IMGS continued as normal. Once it became clear that remote working was going to be a long-term arrangement, I moved from the kitchen table to an office set-up in my Son’s bedroom with an ergonomic friendly workspace, that my back has thanked me for!
Events move on-line
The pandemic has certainly accelerated the need for change in the way that we work and plan and run events. As a Marketing Executive in IMGS, a large part of my role involves the planning and execution of events. As the pandemic spread and the global situation deteriorated further, it became clear that our events would have to move online for the remainder of 2020 and a virtual alternative found. We went with Accelevents as our virtual event platform and it has proven highly effective in delivering quality virtual events and exhibitions. It has been so successful that we may continue to use it post pandemic, and offer a hybrid mix of events in the future.
Is remote working the way forward?
When I reflect on the past year, my overall experience of working from home has been largely positive and even more so since the schools reopened again 😊. It offers a good work/ life balance and I am sure will be viewed as a more acceptable working arrangement going forward. Personally, I would favour a hybrid approach encompassing a mix of in-office and remote working, this would fulfil the need for social interaction at work and the opportunity to enjoy a bit of office banter and a Friday lunch when hospitality reopens!
While I write this blog things are looking brighter and hopefully the majority of us will be vaccinated by the Summer facilitating a return to a more normal way of life.