Over the 10 years I have worked as a web designer in Birmingham, I have been blessed to work alongside passionate project managers and entrepreneurs. I thought I’d write about how the pandemic has affected the ways that work changed even for someone who works remotely as standard.
Working From Home
The pandemic did not really make any changes to my day-to-day production workflow. The routine of producing websites and managing properties for my clients was largely unchanged. I had noticed that the pressure that clients felt on themselves to ensure their website was much higher than normal, with pretty much 100% of external advertising being inefficient, web results were now the only way to draw in leads for non-essential businesses.
Due to furloughs and work from home mandates, the structure of companies was disrupted in a way that did not allow for the normal speed of project management. Some web design projects that I had taken on had to be put on hold altogether as the meetings of project managers were disrupted.
Consulting in person
Sometimes clients just do not feel comfortable without being able to talk and discuss visual and conceptual projects without being face to face. Within the months of the harshest lockdown restrictions this was impossible, and with social distancing I found it quite hard to be able to give a personal one to one experience with my clients. Being able to sit side by side and sketch out the next steps is something valuable to clients who are not comfortable with online project meetings.
Training in person
One of the larger projects that I took on during the pandemic required face to face training for website operation. Once the restrictions allowed for social distancing, I conducted a training session in a room with 5 other people. Trying to provide a friendly, personal experience with masks was hard, especially when trying to accommodate people to tech tasks that they would usually find intimidating. I put the success of these training sessions down to the strength of the written material that I provided and the ongoing remote support.
Over the course of the pandemic, people across the world became a lot more familiar with Zoom, it felt as if the software itself wasn’t ready for the huge scale usage that the situation had heaped on it, and many people had to become adept in video conferencing systems in quite a short amount of time.