What we learned during the first 100 days of lockdown

On Thursday 12 March we started to send staff into lockdown. In an all-staff email that week we said, “The best way to arrest the spread of this virus is social distancing. The best way to protect you and your family is to not work in close proximity. We also need to learn how to homework before we have to and are no longer allowed into our office. To that end, we are sending people home for a possible period of two weeks.”

Those two weeks have stretched into 100 days, so we thought that now would be a good time to ask the Think team what they’ve learned during lockdown. 

“It’s amazed me how the world adapted so quickly to WFH, and I realised that the old office structure is so out of date. We’ve moved so far from needing to be at a fixed position, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. Think adapted so quickly and I saw how innovative we could be under such immense pressure.”
Justin Masters, Production Director

“Lockdown has reinforced our belief that we have the most creative and adaptable team in the business. In the early days everyone pulled together to make sure that everyone was supported practically and personally, and quickly moved to making sure that everyone couldn’t just work remotely, but could do it as well as, if not better than, before.”
John Innes, Executive Director

“I’ve learned how to host a podcast. It – and like a lot of these things – is not as difficult as you’d think. You just need to have a good team by your side!”
Matthew Rock, Content Development Director

“What is meaningful work? Previously, working from home was all about getting your head into long, long docs; now it’s about agility.”
Jackie Scully, Executive Director

“People welcome contact! Whether it’s those that we work with every day or wider contacts within the membership world, we’ve been keeping in contact, sending our latest research and insights. We’ve really enjoyed being helpful and innovative.”
Mel Michael, Senior Partnerships and Business Development Manager

“I really appreciated that we were sent home when we were, ahead of official government guidelines. It was a response that showed that Think cares about its staff and also its clients (ensuring that we were up and running with everything we needed by the time everyone else caught up). It was forward-thinking and caring.”
Mike Coulsey, Sales Director

“I’ve learned to make a very good tray bake. This is a particularly useful dish when you have a house full of people who like slightly different things. You can lob in something for everyone. It’s a bit like a magazine really.”
Matthew Rock, Content Development Director

“I saw that Think came together in an extraordinary way as a whole, to find ways to manage a unique situation. The sense of camaraderie was so strong. We’d quickly set people up with homeworking, and agreed software go-tos such as Zoom and Teams, which worked almost too well. It felt like the technology was ready for us, but we hadn’t broken away from old ideas – hadn’t appreciated the flexibility and agility the modern world had to offer.”
Justin Masters, Production Director

“I’ve come to love Zoom. For meetings it’s more democratic (putting hands up, no one at the head of the table in theory), and meetings are faster and more productive.”
Tilly McAuliffe, Director

“I was impressed at how quickly the entire company adapted to their new environments, taking the ‘new norm’ in their stride – and the way the team continues to share insights, innovate by coming up with new revenue streams, suggest improved working practices and motivate each other is inspiring.”
Mike Coulsey, Sales Director

“Zoom meetings for editorial boards and client catch-ups are super effective.”
Anna Vassallo, Account Director

“We have always prided ourselves on our relationship with our readers, but lockdown brought that to the fore. We ran a #WishIWasThere campaign for readers to share their travel memories, and that was hugely appreciated. Our social media engagement is up, our newsletter open rates are up and we are hitting record traffic on the website. But best of all are the unsolicited messages of gratitude from readers – we have never had so many as through this period.”
Lyn Hughes, Editor-in-Chief, Wanderlust

“New ideas happen every day, with projects going from concept to launch within weeks. At the same time, approval processes have become more agile and projects move more quickly.”
Tom Fountain, Sales Director

“Throughout lockdown, our reliance on technology has been clearly evident, more than ever. However, what I have noticed is that, to counteract this, during our downtime, for rest and relaxation, we are withdrawing from tech completely and refocusing our energy towards nature – to walks, pets, gardening, food… I am enjoying this new balancing act of life.”
Rob Way, Sales Director

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