Fiona Shafer WEB

• We need the Government to stop telling us “we are in this together” – we know!

• None of us have ever experienced anything like this before.

• We are starting to come to terms with the shockwave that has landed.

• We are starting to demystify the government support but still a way to go.

• As MDs you suddenly find that you are responsible for not just salaries but far more emotional wellbeing for others then you could have ever imagined whilst trying to maintain productivity for the business, with your employees suddenly thrown into home working, home schooling or caring for elders and family relatives.

• No pressure then on you as MDs to maintain that daily motivation.

• There is no rule book or perfect Google guide to all of this – it is where we all find ourselves at and we are all working through it hour by unknown hour.

• We are overwhelmed by social media messaging from everyone (much of it brilliantly funny to keep us sane) but we can’t always get on with the everyday without looking like we don’t care.

• But we do care – more than ever before.

• We have all jumped on ZOOM or MS Teams to continue business as some sort of normal – whilst trying to figure out if our new environments are good enough.

• Should we be seen as we really are, or do we give ourselves an automated background of beach, field, star filled constellation to soften the blow of chaos or share our real world with a random background pet, partner or child behaviour?

• Our elders are also now online (and now inadvertently eating into our bandwidth) and enjoying this whole new world of communication which reduces some of our angst - though we might have to remind them that they don’t have to look right into the camera to see us – it’s akin to that very embarrassing British habit of talking loudly at somebody who does not speak the same language as you – in the hope that the louder we talk they will then understand. Nose hair can also be a problem, so gentle camera adjustment advice may be required for our dads in particular.

• Random MDHUB notice: It transpires we have lots of contact lens wearers in our midst (we can’t possibly have known as we can’t see them) because we are all just beyond knackered at the moment and some spectacularly cool glasses have made an appearance.

• You wear those glasses well, guys - don’t be shy!

• Some of us need to invest in some decent window blinds (or check out what we look like to others before you join an online meeting) to stop the much needed sunlight making us look like they are NOT in a VERY dark episode of Game of Thrones when they are online.

• We are all trying to rapidly adjust to online meetings as we do in a normal one – trying not to look at our phones, tripping over gym equipment which is now on the office floor, getting up to take a call, wandering around the garden with the laptop (fun but distracting to others and the facilitator), making toast, adjusting an oil painting and answering the door for yet another Amazon delivery.

• Top MDHUB Member tip – try scheduling your meetings for either 15 or 45 minutes past the hour, to assist our increasingly congested networks.

• Top Tip - PASSWORD protect ALL your ZOOM meetings as Trolling is sadly having a field day at the moment but look out for that wholly intangible and deep seated thing called Karma - we all “know” at a very deep, unspoken level when a really bad thing is readdressed and the balm it provides and Karma will no doubt work its magic back post CV19 on those who take pleasure in disrupting.

• Top marks to one MDHUB Member who ended up buying a Gaming Headset (as that was all that was left to buy on Amazon ) to connect to “very remote working in an area of woeful connectivity” but who now looks like a grown up Air Traffic Controller. We were seriously impressed at the workgroup - in fact we were pretty awestruck as they had two very little ones running around at home, a very large workforce, some of whom are key workers for NHS construction work – so we say RESPECT to you (you know who you are and we send a lot of love for being such a great leader).

• No surprise to any of us that some of the following businesses are booming: bicycle repairs shops, coffee retailers, seed manufacturers, exercise machines, outdoor games

• Plus wine, vodka and beer sales, as we all skip into temporary (and not so temporary) self-medication to save the local Doctors and NHS from all of our additional levels of anxiety - just shows how responsible we all actually are in what is rapidly turning into the biggest ever, social experiment (maybe revolution?) of our generation.

• To come to terms with the fact that if our current Government had not been so entitled (your political persuasions to one side, we hope you will not disagree) and so hell bent on getting Brexit over the line on January 31st, they may well (but suspect not) have paid a whole lot more attention to the COVID 19 Freight train coming behind them faster than ever. It is absolutely inexcusable for business and far, far more importantly for us as human beings.

• As entrepreneurs, we are seeing you all absolutely and truly coming into your own at this time - so to work and recovery.

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