We are so excited to be launching this amazing Inspired collaboration, something that probably would never have happened without the 2020 pandemic.
Back in March of this year the world had a rude awakening… lockdown! Who could have seen this coming? A very serious catastrophic global situation gave us a reprieve from the norm. Commuting for hours to the office, often dealing with delays and upheaval, working all hours against crazy deadlines and demands, IT and aircon issues…. the world had been in hyperdrive. Then an abrupt shift…we were working from home; jobs lost; the future looking uncertain. We had time to spend with our families, with our partners and on our own, reflecting on what we had been doing and what the future would hold for us. We had no idea of how long this would last and what impact it would have on us.
Whether you were working or not, (dependant if you were furloughed, a new word in our vocabulary), all those 'to do lists’ that had been in your smart phone ‘notes' for months, or maybe even years, were on the agenda. Ordering turf for a new lawn, getting hold of ‘00’ flour to make pasta or strong flour to make bread, decorating, sorting out paperwork, getting a dog. Joy came from simply walking around your neighbourhood and discovering some amazing businesses who were still endeavouring to serve the community in this time of need. Crikey there was a lot that we all realised we had been missing and putting off - or at least I was!
Shopping on-line became the only new ‘norm’. We were hearing that the high street is no longer relevant in our lives. Wrong! totally wrong! The internet is great for those purchases that take time and would have you normally wandering around numerous shops to find what you are looking for. Amazon, a life saver for that kettle that has just packed up, the clothing moth repellent that you desperately need to avoid all your clothes being eaten by the little buggers, replacement lightbulbs, clothes hangers, vacuum storage bags, vitamin tablets: all items that don’t need any real tactile and emotional interaction or involvement, delivered to your home with no stress…what’s not to like!
What has become apparent is that ‘tech’ can do the ordinary but what we still need is the extraordinary!
We need real ‘shops' in our community, to touch and feel, interact with, be inspired by, to provide discovery and to be entertained by. We need to meet family, friends and neighbours, visit amazing galleries, theatres and museums, we need to take away experiences.
Working from home is great for those days when we just need to get on with it, but our workplace is our other community, a place where we exchange ideas face to face. Where we meet people, we wouldn't normally meet or sometimes choose to meet; those day-to-day social interactions. Where we are challenged and can learn, develop and progress. Can you imagine a lifetime of ‘working from home'?
People need people, period! People provide the extraordinary.
We all know that life will never be the same, even if we don’t yet know all the ways in which it will be different. Will we go to the office again, we will all shop again – and when we do what impact will it have on how we communicate, connect and create?
Shock caused by the pandemic will leave scars which may well shape our future; there will be a demand to ‘build back better’ because it is clear that some things had already started to go wrong. This sudden shift has provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine everything about how we do our jobs, how we run our companies and how we live our lives.
9 months down the line, I hope we confront how unsustainable the ‘old ways’ had become and whilst we owe a lot to technical advancement, we should acknowledge how much we've all missed out on!
Co-founder, Inspired &Co