Covid-19 has undoubtedly caused many negative effects and outcomes that this article will not diverge into; in no way does it suggest that it is wholly positive. However, for many it has also been the birth of many new habits and opportunities that would otherwise not have happened.
We surely are now a nation full of professional bakers, quiz experts, HIIT workout fanatics and strava specialists. Others have noted that they appreciate the good times with their friends and family more after being separated for months, or have noted a closer relationship with their community. Coronavirus has also been a blessing for Microsoft Teams and Zoom; nothing boosts a remote video calling company quite like a pandemic.
Being in a tough situation and turning it into an opportunity is a life lesson that cannot be understated. Rather like turning a heavily bruised, old and otherwise useless banana into a delicious loaf of banana bread. A positive from a negative. In fact, a new study has found that half of UK workers plan career changes in the next year due to Coronavirus; including two million wanting to find a new role which helps others and five million turning a new hobby into a paid job. That’s a lot of professional quiz masters. Covid-19 has appeared to provide this moment of epiphany for many, with 9% wanting to learn new skills, 7% wanting to follow a completely different career path and 6% wanting to set up their own business.
The most change however, is 3.4 million UK workers wanting to find a new role which allows them to work from home. Whether that says more about their laziness, love of their dogs or hatred of their colleagues is another story, but remote working has saved a lot of individuals money, time and stress. Despite this, the benefits of working from home have to be weighed against the reduction in social interaction, the intrusion of rest and the damage to many businesses that rely on commuters.
As the UK potentially approaches another lockdown, positive thinking is more important than ever. Without trying to sound like an SAS Ant Middleton-esque Instagram post, turning a depressing pub-less winter in lockdown into a winter of banana bread is an important spin to keep us sane. Unless you don’t like banana bread, then there really is no positive to turn to.
TT’s Top Story
Paris-based Mirakl has raised $300m in a funding round led by Permira. The e-commerce startup is now valued at $1.5bn. That would last at least a day in a shopping spree along the Champs-Élysées.
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Is hot desking a thing of the past?
Despite 91% of office workers in the UK wishing they could continue to work from home on a regular basis, many have already made the return back to their workplace. With coronavirus still an ever-present threat, however, businesses around the globe are starting to reconsider their office designs. In recent years 70% of US offices and 49% of UK offices have made the switch to open-plan layouts to promote better communication between employees. Yet, it is now predicted that cubicles and small individual offices could make a comeback, ensuring that people are more protected from the virus.
Maybe some will welcome the revert back to private offices, with many claiming they work better this way. A study from Harvard has even claimed you’re 70% less likely to have face-to-face interactions in today’s workplace than you would have had in a traditional office. However, online platforms, such as Slack and Teams, are inevitably partly to blame by replacing the need for traditional ‘water cooler’ conversations. Regardless, as open plan working is an idea that promotes ‘togetherness’, it’s easy to see that it probably won’t help stop coronavirus in its tracks. Are we about to see the end of shared spaces and communal desks?
Realistically, for those companies whose work has to be done in an office, there are not going to be any renovations anytime soon. It is thought that most workplaces will instead use a rota, limiting the number of people allowed in at one time, as well as hosting virtual meetings so workers can remain at a safe distance from one another.
This week, Admiral employees received some great news!
The CEO of Admiral, David Stevens, is officially stepping down from the Cardiff firm after 29 years. However, this is no ordinary retirement. The CEO and his wife, as a thank you to the staff, who are “the heart of the company”, are giving £10m to the company’s employees as a leaving present. That’s a generous £1000 to every full-time employee and £500 to every part-time worker, stating it was the people who made his time there so special. Drinks on Admiral employees this weekend?
App of the week
With many of us working behind computer screens all week, going out on a run is a great way to keep fit and get some fresh air. If you feel that you need more of a purpose when you run, and you want some more adrenaline (as if running in public isn’t scary anyway), download Zombies, Run! Surely nothing could get you moving faster than by listening to immersive stories about the un-dead, mixed in with your favourite playlists. With every run you do, whilst listening to this app, you collect much needed supplies for your virtual post-apocalyptic community in an attempt to help everyone survive. Join 5 million others who use this app whether they’re walking, jogging, or sprinting away from the zombies. With regular new episodes available to download you’ll never get bored of your daily jog ever again.
Word of the week
Lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring.
‘It was a perennial pause; the interviewer had just asked about the CV that was completely improvised’