It was Friday the 13th when the Leesman leadership team took the decision to lock down our London office. We ordered in pizza for an impromptu company lunch and mucked around wondering when we’d be back. I did glance at the pile of laptop stands, remote keyboards and other remote equipment on the way out, but like hordes of other Londoners my age, trekked back to the seemingly safer, but almost certainly more comfortable parent’s homes, thinking I’d be away two, perhaps three weeks tops. Why would I need a laptop stand?
Back then, I certainly carried the smuggest expression about the idea of lockdown at home. Because as chance would have it, my mum owns a pub. I was jumping on a train to go and batten down the hatches at my local for the ultimate lock-in.
If someone had told me a month ago that our morning marketing meetings would see me propping up the bar, amongst the lingering smell of stale beer, I would have laughed. And that was the problem, despite daily news reports spelling things out, we Brits ignored the warning signs right up to the last minute, then looked around in a state of disbelief to find the virus had been invisibly and quietly making its way around Old Blighty for weeks, meaning extraordinary measures had to be put in place.
And so suddenly I find myself in what feels like a new and never-ending black comedy. Cheers crossed with The Office; just with no cast, less laughs and no catchy theme tune. We are all facing new obstacles by working remotely, but I have to tell you, the novelty of trying to do a day’s work remotely ‘down your local’ is already wearing very thin.