3rd April 2020

Our new normal is now pretty... well normal!

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Lauren Swarbrick

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Like many teams around the world, team Abstrakt shifted to full-time remote working 2 weeks ago today. As a business owner, finding ways to communicate and collaborate effectively over distance, was one of my biggest initial concerns.

BUT... what’s become clear from our conversations (both with team members individually and as a group), is that we each have our own individual set of challenges. Whether it’s dealing with complete isolation, learning to focus in the face of lots of distractions, or getting to grips with juggling home-schooling with full-time work, helping the team to overcome these personal challenges is actually far far more important.

"We're a tight team so staying connected is really important. We make the most of technology to stay in touch throughout the day, whether it's for projects or just to chat with each other."

Marc

So, 2 weeks into our mandatory isolation, we take a look at how the team is finding their new lives, what they are enjoying, what they are missing (if anything!) and if there are any unexpected surprises along the way.

WFH Pic

What we’re seeing across the board is that although we struggled at first, towards the backend of last week we all started finding a bit of a rhythm and routine and that our new normal was starting to feel a bit more like… well normal!

I’ve freelanced before so it just feels like that, but with a whole team of support around me instead!

Lauren I

Unsurprisingly, what most of us are missing most, is each other (and the doggos); the camaraderie, chatting, sharing and laughing, along with our beloved studio which really is a home from home. Followed a close second by our daily little pleasures; grabbing a morning coffee from Outpost, popping out for lunch with our friends, sharing a pint after work. Funny that just 2 weeks ago these were just part of our daily routine, but now we consider them luxuries!

"I miss the spontaneity of being in the studio, I miss the laughter that goes on and the being around people."

Jimi

Yes it's hard, but together we are finding ways of coping. We're talking lots; in groups in our morning and afternoon coffeetime and individually in one-on-one chats. As well as lifting each others spirits and keeping morale high, we're learning more about each other! We can see each others homes in our daily video chats, we're seeing each others families in the background, we're hearing more about each others hobbies and passions and we're sharing our hopes, goals and dreams for when all this is done and dusted. I personally am finding new ways to connect with team members, which is hugely rewarding and highly valuable.

“I’m loving the freedom to hop out for a bike ride in the day whilst the sun is still shining as I work in the town centre and live far away, when I get home it's already dark till summertime, so being able to enjoy the sun is great.”

Jamie J

We're finding that there's lots of benefits too! More flexibility, no commuting, spending more time with loved ones, a better work / life balance, pursing hobbies and even just being still and enjoying the slower pace of life.

“I’ve really enjoyed having the vinyl player on - never felt I used it as much as I should in my free time, so we’ve been discovering (or rediscovering) some classics.”

Jamie R

Some fun facts we've discovered along the way...

- we’re drinking far less tea and / or coffee
- we’re drinking more water
- we’re eating less (and healthier)
- we're exercising more regularly
- we're doing more housework (especially laundry!)
- we're taking on more creative pursuits
- we're saving LOADSA money

“I’m actually eating much better being at home. We are so lucky to be located in the Lacemarket area when in the studio, but that can have its pitfalls! Coffee and cake from Outpost being the main source of calories, that sweet, sweet chocolate Guinness cake!”

Nikki

With most of us isolated and at home, it is easy to feel powerless and alone. But there is light and hope despite the chaos around us. Now is the time to come together, appreciate what we’ve got and support each other as much as we can and it will pass.

"Times are tough, but we're all in this together. I remain convinced that we will come out the other side stronger for it and with new ways of living and working which will be better for us all."

Lauren S

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