Good things from 2020

We are nearly there, the end of 2020… hooray. It was a challenging year for sure.

It is now nearly the New Year and undoubtedly the time to be more optimistic, despite the news. So as we leave the year here are a few of the good things, on reflection, we discovered in 2020.

  1. Videos Calls. It was a year we all got used to video calls. I know they are not new, but we found just how easy it is to connect, catching up with old friends and colleagues from all around the world. A delight.
  2. Reduced commute and travel time. Exactly how much time did we spend in the car or on the train commuting to another city before? This time has been regained for family, for friends, exercise, education or just chilling… a real bonus for this year.
  3. Empathy for vulnerable customers and those in financial difficulty. This crisis has impacted many of us and many of those we know, in many ways. We all now have a better understanding of customers working through hard times and hopefully how to better now support. Must be positive.
  4. Digital Infrastructure Investment. This year felt like a turning point, where digital servicing became a new necessity and investments made to create digital customer journey’s. Hopefully extra future capability for us all.
  5. Digital medicine. Hopefully largely gone are the days of doctors waiting rooms or taking a half-day for a hospital consultation, we now (sometimes) have the option of a video or telephone call. Time saved, significant.
  6. Navigating the data. Developing skills to better navigate ONS data online, searching and reviewing the data behind the headlines has been super helpful (for me at least)… there is a wealth of data available, amazing.
  7. Local community. With less travel and less rushing about, we have all definitely spent more time at home, talking with and relying on those around us. Rediscovering and helping the local community has been great.
  8. Jokes and Memes. Messaging and WhatsApp groups have been the place to be this year. The jokes and fun videos have made us all laugh… very funny and great light relief from the news.
  9. Online Shopping. Groceries to the door, click and collect… if you can, time saved and it works! It was also a delight to have home baking again. Tasted great too (esp the Pain au Chocolat.. I may have mentioned that before!)
  10. Toilet roll. None of us, ever, will run out of toilet roll again. We now fully understand its global strategic importance… enough said!

Best wishes for 2021 everyone

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A very merry digital virtual Christmas

Friday was of course Christmas Day in the UK. With some of us plunged into the purgatory of lockdown, before or after, it felt different this year… dare I admit, actually a little less stressful, less rushing about and more relaxing… still some observations from the week.

  • Spending time on video calls with family and friends this year, the big question was – MSTeams or Zoom? We picked the one associated less with work (Zoom it turned out). How quickly this has evolved, different apps for different purposes… feels even work-life balance is going digital now.
  • My cat, who is of course not digital, is now on a diet. She cut a forlorn figure these festivities spending nearly the entire time hoovering the kitchen for potential treats or turkey snacks… I worry it is a premonition of my post Christmas future, on a diet, searching the bottom of the freezer for bits of pizza… time to skip the next mince pie!
  • Lastly, I have been still reviewing the news this week. Workwise the news has been rather quieter than I ever remember (Brexit excepted)… Were we all exhausted and really needed the break? We certainly seem to have made the most of it… and still a few more days too.

Best wishes everyone, have a good rest of 2020… @chris_w_tweet

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Last Christmas… the very next day it was taken away!

Well, the festive spirit (the one I have been trying to find) seemed to evaporate this weekend with the announcement of new sudden restrictions for the holidays. Christmas has been cancelled in our house. With New Year already banned it is been pretty disappointing.

It was something to look forward to, some normality, in what has been a pretty tough year.

Still, some observations for the week.

  • It is amazing how perspectives change. Working from home, with little opportunity to go out, has suddenly made the school run much more fun… outside, in the car, real shoes, real people… a real joy.
  • With the arrival of holidays comes presents… I have found myself wrapping presents, writing cards, only to realize I have missed something off or not included an element – must start earlier next year to have more time… mind you I say this every year!
  • Workwise, the theme this week has to be planning, and how good planning, setting expectations early, really makes a difference… Christmas will be tough for many folks here. We need to learn from it and think about what we can do to support friends, families and neighbours.

Hope everyone has a good week this week and on Friday.. stay safe everyone… @chris_w_tweet

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