The Experiences of a Consultancy During a Global Pandemic

How we are managing in the times of COVID-19

We, here at ODS, wanted to take a minute to talk about how we are currently feeling and how we are dealing with the world around us.

We are about a year into a global pandemic and we are human. We have kids, we have spouses, we have parents, we have numerous responsibilities, things and people to take care of including ourselves. And we have jobs and clients that we love working with.

But it’s tough to balance it all; it’s tough to manage children being out of school, it’s tough when worrying about sick parents, it’s tough to find time to ourselves or it’s tough to be by yourself all the time. There has been much talk about the home/work divide in the past year and walls coming down. We may feel like we want those walls to go back up sometimes as many of those lines have been blurred, perhaps sometimes to a fault.

Some of the words our team have used to describe the current times we are living through are “heavy”, “groundhog day”, “digital fatigue”, and “isolated.” Work in ‘normal’ times can often be stressful or overwhelming but there is always lightness to counteract those feelings. But right now, much of the lightness has been stripped away.

As a team, most of us are separated because we are either working from home or are in different countries with differing levels of restrictions. And instead of it being ‘working from home’, many now feel like they live at work. It’s all too easy to check a “quick email” at 11PM or at 7AM. 

We also often find ourselves caught between acknowledging how lucky and privileged we are whilst also not wanting to ignore that we struggle from time to time and that we might need help.

We find that when we simply admit we’re struggling to balance it all, that’s when the help comes. And it comes in all shapes and sizes, whether that’s colleagues pitching in and taking a load off our shoulders or simply receiving moral support and knowing that there’s a group of people rallying behind you.

We can’t help things unexpectedly happening but we can control how we respond. We count ourselves extremely lucky to work with clients who may also be struggling with the same issues and therefore understand the complex and often frustrating times we are in. However, this is also uncharted territory for all of us and so, managing these dynamics can be tricky.

We are, however, extremely proud of how we have adapted this past year, how resilient we have become and how we continue to reinvent what it means to be a diverse and dynamic group of people working together towards a cause.

We share our story and thoughts to encourage others to admit how hard all of this is and admit if you’re also struggling. It’s only human and it gives others permission to be honest about their experiences too which can only have good outcomes.

One of our team members described this as a marathon and we think that is an excellent word to describe the times we’re living in. Take it steady and don’t rush. Know your limits and give yourself grace if you need to stop to take a breath.