Today is two years to the day since the Embryo team packed up our laptops and started working from home for “a couple of weeks”. We all know what happened from there … weeks turned into months, turned into complete lockdown, turned into social distancing, turned back into social distancing etc.
A lot has changed in the past two years, that’s for sure. But rather than dwell on the negatives, I wanted to use this blog to look at the positives that we can take through the crazy journey that we’ve all been on.
So, two years on, what have we learnt?
Hybrid Working is Here to Stay
Probably one of the biggest impacts of COVID that has impacted our lives forever is the introduction of, or more widespread use of, hybrid working. In 2020, the majority of people started working from home for the very first time. It was a bit of a nightmare for a lot of businesses and individuals, with this never being something that businesses had even considered might happen, so they definitely weren’t prepared for it. Thankfully, at Embryo we’re fortunate to be an extremely digital business, with all of our systems and processes held online anyway. But that didn’t mean that the transition was easy.
Personally, I always struggled with the idea of working from home completely. I think it was the mixture of lack of human contact that I just found extremely boring, and I know I’m not the only one who felt that way. On the other hand, there were a huge amount of people who took to the transition like a duck to water and loved the lack of commute and ease. However, in a post-lockdown world, lots of businesses – Embryo included – didn’t completely abolish the wfh model, and instead decided to utilise a mixed approach.
Two or three days a week in the office seems to be the standard. And it’s astonishing how quickly we’ve all just accepted that this isn’t a temporary solution, it is the future of office working. Even as an initial anti-remote worker, I’m now a massive advocate for hybrid working.
Do I ever think people will go back to working in the office full time? I really don’t think so. And that’s fine!
You Need to Make Time for You
One thing that lockdown gave us was a lot of time. So much time to do whatever we wanted. At the time we considered this too much time, and we all moaned about how bored we were. Looking back, this was the perfect time for us to realise what we actually enjoy doing.
Lockdown gave us the opportunity to start new hobbies, pick up old hobbies again, appreciate nature more, get some DIY tasks completed. Honestly, I think we all needed that change of pace. We rediscovered the importance of things other than our to-do list.
Pre-lockdown I would commute to the office, go to the gym at lunch, go for drinks after work then come home and do a food shop. Only to get up and have a super packed day the next day too! How we did that, I’ll never know.
Now that we’ve rediscovered how important it is to have a slower pace of life, it will be really hard to go back to our old ways.
New Platforms That Bring us Joy
We can’t take a look back at what we’ve learnt from the past two years without mentioning the rise of TikTok. Although the platform launched in 2018, it didn’t really get popular until lockdown boredom took over and people started downloading the app. TikTok is now one of the biggest social media platforms, with record-breaking new user numbers. Why has it become so popular? Because, unlike traditional social media platforms, TikTok is all about having fun. What more did we need during a global pandemic than a little bit of fun?
The rise of TikTok teaches us a huge lesson about actually using platforms that you enjoy. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. have all become so serious and are analysed in such a negative light due to their impact on mental health. They’ve become so concerned with image and aesthetics that TikTok has thrived almost as the antithesis of that.
We can so quickly let ourselves get lost online and concerned with the wrong things when the whole original purpose of social media platforms was purely to be social and have fun.
We’ve Got to be Prepared for Anything
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the past two years is that we have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in the future. If you’d have asked us three years ago what life would be like, there’s no way that you’d expect us to have gone through what we have for the past few years.
We’ve proven that we can be resilient, we can be considerate of other people’s journeys, and we can focus on ourselves whilst helping others. We shouldn’t lose that whilst life goes ‘back to normal’.
Here at Embryo, we’re extremely fortunate to have grown so much in spite of the global pandemic. In the two years since lockdown started, we’ve more than doubled in size and are actively recruiting even more new team members to join us. If you’re looking to be a part of our agency, get in touch today.