Keep calm and carry on

What a change the world has undergone in the past month! What initially appeared to many to be a distant problem has flared into something bigger (as the experts warned) that now dominates the hivemind. Sadly, it is in this context that we all now operate in, with so many of us across the globe enduring a lockdown of some kind.

This has meant that daily routines have been upended. Those that are able to work from home now spend their entire day at home with children, juggling work responsibilities, homeschooling and household chores that are now more frequent due to more time being spent at home!

Working from home has grown in acceptance over the past decade and many people believe that COVID19 may yet drive a step change towards more home-working. There are certainly many benefits including: time reclaimed from commuting for the individual; fewer disruptions from open-plan offices may increase productivity (introverts will be nodding furiously here). Companies can benefit from reduced estates and facilities costs. In the UK, concerns around productivity have led to increasing (albeit limited in volume) attempts to embed employee surveillance. This suggests that the trust issues remain deep enough to inhibit a full-on switch to remote-working. Despite this, it’s not difficult to find a forecaster that sees us coming out of the current situation with a world that has more remote-working at the expense of more invasive monitoring protocols.

It is much more difficult to find a forecaster that saw 2020 as the year where homeschooling would be trialled en masse. This kind of trial would be difficult to plan for schools if they were given the summer during the best of times to prepare. Asking schools to do this in the middle of school term during a pandemic was frankly a cruel test for 2020 to set.

Homeschooling advice

While schools have been working diligently on preparing online resources, parents have had to take on the responsibility of supervision, especially if their children are young. Combined with the other added pressures from work and managing the household, many seem to be finding it difficult to focus. Naturally, teachers’ blogs, parenting blogs and WhatsApp groups have been on hand to share tips for parents that are more helpful than the catchphrase in the header image of “Keep calm and carry on”. Despite this, the wider ongoing uncertainty can be paralysing for many. So what do we do when we want to regain focus? Easy, we turn to Mr. Miyagi:


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