Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

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At som3 we’re optimists! We see half full glasses, solutions instead of problems and opportunities to succeed in the face of adversity. Good job too as in there’s plenty of doom and gloom around at the moment in the midst of this terrible and deadly Corona Virus Pandemic that grips the world. Shops are shut, we can’t go on holiday or to the pub, and the economy is in freefall with talk of financial depressions of which the world has never seen. The government do seem to have stepped up though, I’ll bet some of the younger generations can’t believe their luck, kids get months off school and many junior staff will have been furloughed, so they’re paid 80% of their wage to extend their tenure whilst hopefully getting a chance to enjoy arguably the best Spring weather we’ve had for years!

Firstly, we do not want to belittle what is the biggest global threat to health and life that the world has known in peacetime. We would never wish suffering or death on anyone and our condolences go out to all those who have lost loved ones. The pressure put on our NHS & key workers the world over is both immense and beyond comprehension to lowly office workers like us! However, there are some positives if you look hard enough, some which Greta Thunberg and Greenpeace put together couldn’t have wished for in their wildest dreams

For those of us unconnected to the front-line and lucky enough not know anyone suffering during this crisis it’s easy to sit in an ignorant bubble, beer in hand and enjoying the beautiful sunshine as relaxed as you could be, because outside of paying the mortgage and essential bills the only thing you need to worry about is having enough cash to buy some decent food & wine for the weekend. As much as we have to stay in and socially distance, it’s refreshing to feel the team spirit amongst us all that most in our generation have never felt before. There are so many people out exercising and dog walking. Everyone seems to say hello now, brought together in times of adversity. Our Operations Director has been into our Northern office on occasion, on his bike so double heading his exercise with commuting before you worry. He’s the only person there as everyone is working from home. He commented that as he rode, he was struck by the lack of planes which normally land every 90 seconds at Manchester Airport, the lack of traffic and the fact the only thing he could hear were the birds tweeting! It is also noticeable at night that the sky seems so clear thanks to the weather, and the silence is deafening where normally there’s background noise from the M6, but that’s empty. That realisation of silence is like being in a commercial office building when the aircon powers down, you don’t realise that noise is there until it stops!

Around the world there has been environmental reports of significant improvements in air quality and reductions in pollution levels. Reduced production in Chinese industry has seen a huge drop in their emission levels. Business where possible has continued from home and moved increasingly on-line with a surge in the use of on-line collaboration tools like Skype, Teams, Zoom & Google Hangout. Meetings in person have been cancelled, air travel has all but stopped and many haven’t touched their cars in weeks, so the benefits in air quality are being felt the world over, and it feels like the planet is saying thank you by rewarding us with glorious weather. Theme parks are closed, global tourism has pretty much ceased, which spells economic disaster, but did you hear that you can now see the fish in the clear water in Venice as there a no longer thousands of boats whipping up the sediment?

There has never been family time like this. People are spending time cooking, cleaning and getting all those rainy day jobs done together, and as much as there has been a rise in social meeting apps like House Party, there’s been plenty of back to basics like talking to each other and playing board games. Our MD has been busy building various complex vehicles in Lego Technic, our Head of Delivery has been baking various cakes, our Sales Director has been transforming his garden in between conference calls

Those businesses who shelved IT projects have started to adapt, there is likely to be increased flexibility to work from home after this so those who work long hours or have big commutes will see more of their loved ones. We have roles both contract and permanent that are restarting with emphasis on on-line interviewing and remote on-boarding, so don’t worry, it may be hard at the moment but we’re struggling on and we’re all in it together!!

We at som3 would like to say a big thank you and show our appreciation for the NHS and all key workers, so we’ll be clapping hard every Thursday until this is over.

Stay safe everyone!