Pandemic – communication and staying connected during COVID-19
For most of us, the world as we know it is completely unrecognisable and it could be months before our day to day life returns to normal, if indeed it ever does. With most of us working from home for the first time, we are having to establish new ways of staying connected with our colleagues, friends and families. We are in a place where we need each other more than ever; To share information, get our jobs done, provide comfort, solace, distraction, and entertainment. To listen and to be heard.
Many in society talk of past pandemics, such as the Spanish flu, when communication with the outside world was nigh-on impossible. We are realising how fortunate we are to be experiencing such a pandemic in a technology laden digital age.
How are people staying connected during COVID-19?
The world is managing the challenge of social distancing and the stress of isolation by taking their socialising online. We are joining online fitness classes; learning new cooking techniques; upskilling, disco dancing, Tiktoking, quiz joining. Even our favourite pub nights have seamlessly evolved into a BYO video chat with friends (some you haven’t seen in years) – and dare we say it, with all the sadness in the world at the moment…..we are really enjoying that new interaction and distraction.
Our own virtual story…..
At MyOE a big part of who we are is our amazing community that we have created of Aussies and Kiwi’s in the UK. Helping them to connect with each other, keeping them informed of what is available to them, and supporting them throughout their time away from their home.
Keen to keep this support going, but with the restrictions placed on us – Our face to face meet ups with the community have become information webinars and Q&A sessions on Google hangouts, our social events have become virtual drinks parties and quiz nights on Zoom. We’ve created new groups on Facebook, so that our contractors can share their ideas, their frustrations and their ways of coping with similar minded peers.
Do we still feel connected?
MyOE’s Events and Marketing manager Jacqui Graham reflects….
“In many ways I feel the pandemic is making us feel closer to our community. We are chatting with people in their home environments, seeing them relaxed and at ease on their own turf. Video calls are splattered with the occasional, and sometimes hilarious, impromptu visit from their friendly dog, their partner, their cute toddler, that in normal circumstances we would never get to see.
People are reaching out to us and each other much more for support, sharing their thoughts, concerns, frustrations and feelings face to face. It feels like we are reaching a whole new level of personal connection with our clients. A real positive in the face of adversity.”
The World just got that bit smaller.
As time goes on, this pandemic will be as much of a psychological battle for individuals as it will be a medical one. Staying connected with each other, supporting each other, helping those in need in every way we can is proving vital. The global community spirit that we are seeing across the world has been heartwarming. We have already seen in the past few weeks the internet at its best; enhancing lives and connecting people in a variety of creative and positive ways.
“Also for our Aussie and Kiwi community, whilst time-zones are still a challenge of course, international borders feel less meaningful when we are ALL based at home. Many of our MyOE community have said that they seem to be making more time than ever to reach out and catch up with friends and relatives from across the miles since the Pandemic started.”
So when will things go back to normal..?
Finding the positives at these times is so important to survive. The outbreak has pushed us all to think outside the box in how we can communicate with each other, and has made us become so much more grateful for the technology we’ve so often taken for granted, and the social networks and circles of support we have to reach out and draw from.
So will it go back to normal? Maybe not. Do we want it to go completely back to how it was? We know 100% that there really is no better connection than a physical one, person to person – and of course we can’t wait to return to a time that we can once again do that safely. But here’s hoping that some of the lessons and unconventional methods of connecting that we are learning at this time, that personal connection, the support we are receiving, and the feeling that ‘We are all in this together’ – will go towards building a new, more deeply connected ‘normal’ for our communication together in the future.
Join in with our community
If you would like to find out more about joining our community of MyOErs or understand more about how a stint in the UK could work for you once the travel restrictions are lifted then please get in touch with one of our experts in the UK office, or join us on one of our social media channels – Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram or twitter.