The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives beyond recognition. Offices have been swapped for back bedrooms and video conferencing has gone mainstream.

It’s an extremely challenging time for individuals and businesses, but it’s amazing how quickly we have all learned to adapt. Here’s five things we have learnt over the past few weeks.

1 There’s a thirst for ‘normal’ news

The news agenda may be dominated by Coronavirus but there is also a growing need for everyday stories to fill news pages.

If your business has good news, share it. This is not the time to cut off your communication channels.

By maintaining your profile, you can develop new connections ahead of the anticipated bounce back in the economy.

Thanks to technology, deals are still being done and contracts are being won. Manufacturers have found innovative ways to maintain production and get their products to customers. We are even seeing new products launched in direct response to the pandemic. Companies are collaborating for the common good as never before.

Don’t be afraid to explain how the disruption affects you. We are all in this together and you may find help from the unlikeliest source.

2 Buy a paper

It’s never been more important to support our local newspapers.

Faced with a decline in advertising and reduction in paid-for copy sales, many publications face an uncertain future. Yet we need a strong local press to share trusted information, campaign for our local communities and hold decision makers to account.

In a world where accurate information has never been more important, journalists have an essential role to play in the fight against fake or unchecked news, much of which can quickly go viral via social media.

We’re continuing to support our local papers through subscriptions and look forward to catching up with our friends in the media once we return to some degree of normality.

3 Help is out there

There is a whole raft of information to help you and your business deal with these challenging times, from videos and webinars to podcasts and ‘how to’ guides.

Two of Cicada’s clients, The Institute of Directors (IoD) and law firm Lupton Fawcett have created dedicated Covid-19 hubs, packed with regularly updated news, analysis and support from expert advisors.

Whether you’re looking for information on government support for business or seeking out advice on the proposed sale of your house, excellent and up to date information is being prepared and shared on a daily basis.

4 Video conferencing is here to stay

Meetings may never be the same again, thanks to video conferencing.

Whether it’s Microsoft Teams, Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom, a new generation of people are discovering the joys of group video calls for keeping in touch with family, friends and colleagues while confined to the house.

The Cicada team has been catching up daily (with children and pets occasionally joining proceedings against their will!)

Video conferencing is now going mainstream as more people become video savvy. There will always be a need (and perhaps a preference) for face to face contact but we expect to see some reduction in physical meetings once the pandemic is over.

If that means quieter trains and fewer cars on the road, all the better!

5 Look out for your mental health and wellbeing

The pandemic has focused minds on people’s mental health and wellbeing as never before.

Whilst isolating, we are encouraged to take daily exercise within the government’s guidelines. It is important not only for our physical wellbeing but our mental health as well.

This national emergency is bringing the best out in people with some great examples of community spirit, from teachers delivering school meals to pupils and volunteers running errands for the vulnerable to the hundreds supporting the fantastic efforts of the NHS and other key workers.

Business is playing its part too, with companies turning their hand to creating PPE, supplying much-needed necessities such as hand sanitiser, soap and hand lotion, as well as creating meals for NHS workers and donating advertising airtime to hard-pressed charities.

The instinct to help has seen communities coming together – with some people getting to know their neighbours properly for the first time, often on social media groups.

If anything good is to come from the current situation, it will be by remembering the importance of a sense of community and taking time to reflect on the little things once the pandemic has passed.

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