Given the serious nature of the global pandemic and the heartbreak it has caused for so many families across the globe, it seems petty to complain about insignificant matters, but I’m going to.
As I recently said to one of my now remote-working team, who was in his words going stir-crazy after just a week, in 1944 brave young men stormed ashore amid a hail of lethal fire, or parachuted into Nazi-occupied France to free the world from tyranny. And they did it largely without complaint.
To free the world of the tyrannical effects of a contagious disease, people have been asked to stay at home; their warm, well-stocked, entertainment-filled home, watching Netflix and washing their hands a lot, whilst limiting their time outside and contact with friends and family. For a few weeks.
From the first steps ashore on D-Day the fear, fighting and death for those young men lasted almost another full year, until victory could be celebrated. We are advised the fight against COVID-19 might last another month or two.
Admittedly, thousands might die prematurely from the effects of COVID-19, but in just the month-long Battle of Normandy, the allies alone suffered more than 50,000 dead – mostly young fit and healthy men.
So when I say, I’m not happy working from home, my complaint must be viewed in the context of our soft, pampered, privileged lives in the first-world UK. And I like my office. I recently painted all of the doors black and given it a makeover for the droves of new visitors we expect.
I regard my office like a business shirt. It makes me feel I’m at work. It provides a sense of urgency, a sense of belonging. It is where work happens and where I feel most comfortable doing it. It’s also a very short walk to the coffee machine, unlike at home, which involves two flights of stairs.
This virus is a beastly, indiscriminate killer and it is critical we defeat it by any means, even if that means self-imposed isolation, a government-imposed lockdown and social distancing observed for months after the lockdown is revoked.
But I believe any long-term restrictions have to be balanced against the needs of the economy; for people to work, earn a living and guarantee the survival of businesses that would otherwise perish.
We all know the grants, loans and various stimuli, introduced with great fanfare, will all prove tougher to attain that they were to announce, with business owners and managers shrugging off the hardship with the UK’s typical pragmatism and humour – ‘tis but a scratch!
Work remains essential in giving the majority of people in the world a sense of purpose, a value to their existence, for it allows them to take care of their family and pursue interests outside the office, factory and shop.
WorkPR is blessed with a core of clients toughing out the crisis and working through it, so we have so far avoided furloughing any staff or requiring a bailout from the slow-to-help banks, but that could all change, if weeks of disruption become months.
My wife does not drive and I don’t want her using the bus, so I will continue to drive her to work and go into my office as usual, as we all work hard to get through this awful situation.
The WorkPR team is working at home, but I’m not, so if you need any help with raising the profile of your business to ensure you emerge from the crisis with a commercial advantage, call the office.