Vacation at home…

With 2 back-to-back bank holidays in the UK, normally at this time of year, many of us would be off to sunnier climes, on vacation.

Last year, of course, was different, we were in full lockdown and at this moment in the midst of a full-blown toilet paper crisis… there were just more pressing issues than taking some time off.

This year, however, with better numbers, and plenty of holidays carried forward, it is a different story and this week many people seemed to be off work. Emails were quiet, only a few meetings and certainly less deadline pressure.

It was as if we all breathed a collective sigh of relief and took a few days off. But, with shops shut, no travel and activities still limited, we have all still been at home… just in a different room, if we have one.

Logged off but logging in

As a result, it has been really hard not to check in on emails, just to see what was going on. It was as if the work-life balance simply shifted to be more life than work for a bit.

Maybe with remote working looking increasingly like it is here to stay, this is also what the future of time off it going to look like? We will see.

Historical Acceleration

My other task this week has been a bit of digital spring cleaning. This has involved the tidying up of my bookmark list, moving old stories into an archive, organizing the digital detritus.

Seemingly a chore (I have been putting it off), in fact it has been an interesting journey down memory lane, looking at the stories and concerns, pre-COVID, pre-Brexit, even pre-GDPR, PSD2 and IFRS9.

One of my favorite, a report on the impact of remote working… something we all wonder a little less about these days!

A bit of historical perspective can always be interesting, especially on reflection. Will the stories that seem so important today be important in 5 years’ time too, will predictions be accurate or what will be then important…. who remembers BBM… who misses it? It is amazing how quickly things change these days.

There is still another week of vacation to go, only as far back as 2016… pre 2010 still to go. Expecting it to be busier too!

Some other stories of note this week.

Have a good weekend everyone…

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Video delivery…

Last week has been the run-up to Easter and the question of the week was why do things always seem to get busier right before a few days off? Why does it always feel like a rush to the finish line?

All week, I also seemed to be running the gauntlet of deliveries and post arriving, during calls. Something does seem to have changed?

Rather than just dropping packages off, they now seem to ring and wait, staring at me (who is clearly on a video call) through the window. I cannot even hide or pretend I am out, although mad waving does sometimes seems to work!

It may be manageable for now, but not exactly sure how this is all going to work when we are back in the office!

Speaking of which, it does seem that discussions are now moving on how this will actually work. A hybrid approach, blending home and office seems likely. We will no doubt need to see how the next few weeks go to see if we move forward.

For now, I know that most folks have been looking forward to a few well-deserved days off… if you were able to get a break, I hope it has been a good one.

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Making hay while the sun shines…

This week we have finally, and officially, been allowed out again. With warmer weather in the UK, lower COVID case numbers we seem to have grasped the opportunity and been out in droves. Certainly, the traffic on the road increased markedly. After what has been nearly a year most of us are clearly ready to get going again.

However, across the water in France, case numbers once again seem to be accelerating and the country has just entered a third lockdown. This should give us some pause for thought here too.

The virus is clearly continuing to find new ways to propagate, working around controls and measure we put in place. The Brazil variant is a good case in point here, infecting more young people with some concern it is possible to catch it again, for a second time. It makes me shudder to think, but there is the possibility of a further lockdown here.

We are not there yet, however, in the world of contingency planning, and for my own psychological resilience, it seems like maybe we should prepare ourselves a bit… just in case.

Continuing the theme of being prepared, a good article on digitalisation vs digital transformation this week. Over the last 12 months we have been extremely focused on digital. It has been, after all, a solution that has kept many business processes afloat.

However the article also neatly reminds us that digitalisation is not necessarily digital transformation. We need to ensure any ‘sticking plaster’ solutions are actually integrated into business processes.

This has been a topic for a few conversations recently and as the pandemic grinds on, it sounds like it may be a new important theme that is developing. Worth watching.

So despite the better news this week, we are probably not quite at the end of it all. As always there is still more to do.

And, as much as we would like all this to end with a bang, not to mention a giant party, there is an increasing sense is this will likely end with a very unsatisfying, damp fizzle.

Making hay while the sun shines… but putting some away for future storage, still seems prudent!

Other news stories this week.

Have a good long weekend everyone

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