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How young professionals are dealing with life and work in isolation
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Confessions: Planning crisis or life during COVID-19

How young professionals are dealing with life and work in isolation
  • Our confessions series is a platform where young professionals from the advertising, marketing and media world will get to pour their hearts out on how the outbreak of Coronavirus has affected their daily routines, the good, bad and ugly sides of working while under house arrest and talk about if it's even possible to balance work and personal life in a situation like this.
  • In today's column, Arunita Sen, Director - Strategy, Bang in the Middle writes about some thoughts she's had while in isolation and some of her learnings from the experience so far.

The surreal year of 2020. The whole world is learning and walking into a new path of fighting against the COVID19 crisis and here I am waking up to another numb ‘work from home’ day.

I am a planner by nature. Finding new things to do and say and driving new behaviour insights to drive brand impact is my core expertise. And currently, the COVID-19 crisis is shaping up the most distinct form of art - communication, culture, communities, brands, organisations, personal space and me.

Staying true to my skills, here is my take on this quarantine life during a crisis in bullet points (I am not even sorry about this)!

  1. CAN I GO BACK TO EMAILING??
    Yep, that fanatic.
    9.30 am 10.00 pm, Saturday or Sunday. Good Friday?
    Yep. Calls. Calls. Calls. Zoom in. Zoom out. Blue beans ya blue jeans?
    Wait, there are presentations, screen sharing. Anxieties. Cooking. Feeding the cat. Taking a shower. Eating lunch during lunch.
    Do you feel the same? No? Can you please do a takeover for a brand and teach me work-life balance? And hence, a task list for your home & your work is my 10.00 am routine.
Insight: Sometimes, the most formal & to the point communication is gold.

2. What crisis am i solving?
More than my work, it’s the purpose slump that hit me the most in this 4*4 boundary.
While being a brand specialist during this COVID-19 crisis is making you break your format of thoughts - let’s parallelly accept - we all are in a loop of life, right now.
The 7 stages of grief, Maslow’s hierarchy of need or any goddamn theory!
Learning and evolving is the way to keep floating in the crisis. That’s more important right now.

Recommendation: Drive empathy for yourself, your family, your colleagues, your consumer base. Thinking about others, before you demand, ask, give a timeline - is more important now than ever.

3. Be part of the culture change!
Yes. Hand washing, cleaning, driving gender balance at home, learning new things, dumping Netflix, hello podcasts!
And if not now, when? Yes, I am treating this as the end of the world until it restarts. Until then let’s grab it all and please don’t judge!

Quarantine engagement plan:

- Finish 5 books. The love I had shelved.
- Post Dinner - Sketch hour to help your mind release and express.
- Crisis Recipes - Quickies for the paapi-pet.
- Podcast no 1. - Prep mode.
- Have you heard about a home projector and mubi.com?

4. Turn off from the chaos
The first 5 days in quarantine were productive and then it started crawling back to a downward curve. I felt my team going through curves of motivational challenges and so did I.
Yes, it’s chaotic to connect, explain and deliver. Especially when the regular office chai pe conversations are being wasted staying in 24*7 - doing your dishes, keeping a timer for the MCD garbage van is doing the round + deliver the C\OVID-19 content strategy.

Learning:

Switching off to do my chores, water my plant, staring at the wall helps me regenerate and lessens down the pressure. Sleep with your eyes open. Power naps! Eeehaaaw!

5. 101 consumer engagement
To end the long list of my quarantine ‘set of mind’. Please don’t tag me on any online challenge anymore.
And brands, this is a planner’s advice to stop people from engaging with you right now and instead, drive something more meaningful when the world is fighting a pandemic.

Wayforward:

Keep it actionable, keep it light, keep it empathetic and don’t push for UGC, no more. Instead, empower and be the leader like you claim.

Even when the economy is in turmoil, and individually all of us are making our input count. Dropping the annual strategy a bit early for the next year.

2021 will be a new one, with a new win and learnings from this reality check.





COVID-19IndiaCases: 226,770Deaths: 6,348Recovered: 109,462
COVID-19WorldCases: 6.42mnDeaths: 383kRecovered: 2.87mn
COVID-19USACases: 1.82mnDeaths: 106kRecovered: 485k