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Out of Office: One Year On

The PRCA are running a campaign in March to examine where we are one year into the pandemic. I’m not inspired to write blogs very often, but the opportunity to reflect on the past year is too good to miss. 

Last year, more than two weeks before we were all officially told to go into lock down, the Morrison Media team all went home – we are still there! 

When I joined Morrison Media more than six years ago, I put in place all the planning systems to enable us to work from anywhere in an emergency.  This was mostly for procurement applications but who knew this would all be put into practice last March. 

We went home early because John Morrison had a kidney to protect (Rhoda Morrison had gone through a transplant the year before).  We couldn’t take any risks with Covid 19, even when others went back to the office in the summer of 2020, we all stayed home, again to protect that lifesaving kidney.

In the past year, we as a team have lost two fathers and a mother, so you could say working from home has been a breeze in comparison.  We didn’t do Zoom yoga or lunchtime dancing, we just quietly got on with the job to look after our clients and each other.

So, what have I learned during the past year about myself and the Morrison Media team?

My “out of office” thoughts:

·         We have become closer as a team than I ever thought possible and we haven’t even been in the same room for a whole year!  The support and compassion shown by the team to each other throughout this crazy year has been incredible.  We have been there for each other day and night and have held each other up when we were down.  We have a WhatsApp group that is called MMFamily, and it couldn’t be more appropriately named.

·         We never thought it possible that a new member of staff could work for us for a year and only have met us in person at the initial interview. Craig Ritchie joined our team last March, at the height of the pandemic pandemonium and has become a hugely important member of our team.  Accepting that he wasn’t going to meet us again for a while, he just got stuck in and got on with doing the job.

·         Facetime has been a lifesaver – we don’t call each other; we Facetime which allows some human contact even when you are feeling lonely. 

·         Microsoft Teams and Zoom have been fabulous.  We have clients all over the UK, for the first time ever we have video calls with them, so we get to see them every week.  We’ve met their families and their dogs, something that wouldn’t have ever happened without the pandemic. John now does all our media training on Zoom to an ever-growing number of clients – feedback has been very positive.

·         We have taken on a lot of new clients who all needed communications support throughout the pandemic – it has been brilliant getting to know some new people and to help them tell their story better.

·         It has been a very busy year for Crisis Communications. It has never been more important to look after clients than in this difficult year.

·         Working from home is extremely good in the summer and winter – summer you get to sit in the sun and work in the garden, and winter you don’t have to commute through the snow.  Like everything else in life there are good days and bad days, personally mostly good for me.

·         Offices don’t really matter - being a team is about people not geography!

On reflection personally 2020 was one of the worst years of my life, professionally one of my best. I’ve no idea what 2021 will bring, but the Morrison Media Family are ready to tackle it head on.