By Kirsten Paul, Account Director
Next week marks the first anniversary of what will forever be known as “that time we lived through a pandemic”.
While it can only be described as a rollercoaster of a year, we are indebted to the technology that has benefited us and kept us connected despite our physical distance from loved ones and colleagues. (I certainly couldn’t imagine the last year with only a Nokia 3310 and Snake to keep me entertained into the wee hours.)
While I am sure we have all attended our fair share of Zoom/Teams/Skype calls, the technology on which they run has also enabled us to see not only colleagues but loved ones who we haven’t been able to hug.
So, as we hit this 12-month milestone (remember when we all thought this would last for three weeks….), we polled the Clark team to find out what one piece of technology they couldn’t have lived without.
We’d also love to know what yours was/is too. Get involved and join the conversation.
“For all the hours that we have been at home and with two young kids to entertain, I would have been lost without the new babysitters that came into my life – Disney+ and Netflix. I am also even more grateful for having multiple devices for the kids to watch them on, because god forbid, they could watch the same programme!”
“In direct relation to the surge in use of Zoom, Skype and MS Teams, which have dominated our work and personal lives, the ‘Calm’ app has been my Zen-like antidote to so much high-intensity screen time. Uber-peaceful bite-sized meditation moments for the day, or relaxing bedtime stories from the likes of Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles. The only problem is, I don’t know how any of the stories end…zzzzzzz.”
“I’ve had Nest Hello video doorbell for a couple of years, well before the pandemic started. It has always been really useful; when at work in the office, the tech allowed me to accept home deliveries via my mobile. And even now, when I’m working from home all day, it’s continuing to be useful when a delivery arrives in the middle of a video call. I can let the delivery driver know to leave it in the porch without having to excuse myself.”
“I loved my weekly trips to the library, so being stuck at home with my local library closed was really difficult. Discovering that my Amazon Prime membership means I can borrow books through the Kindle app whenever I want, for no additional charge, has been a real saving grace for my wallet. According to the app, I’ve read 22 books already this year… I might have a bit of an addiction!”
“As someone who regularly spent £3 on a latte before work each day, it was part of my morning ritual. For Christmas 2019, I received a coffee machine and milk frother, which was a bit of a novelty for the first couple of months of 2020. It wasn’t until I started working from home it was a perfect replacement, and now I don’t know how I ever lived without it.”
“One of the biggest challenges of lockdown has been sticking to a fitness routine while the gyms have been closed. After months of deliberating, I bit the bullet and invested in a Peloton and it’s undoubtedly been my favourite pandemic tech hit. Having fully embraced the lifestyle (and unashamedly gulped down the kool aid), I now start my day in my Peloton branded workout gear – I’m that invested – with a cardio or spin session, followed by stretching/yoga, while I turn to the meditation classes in the evenings to help me switch off from a busy day. To help keep me motivated and accountable I’ve even set up my own secret Instagram page to track my progress and connect with the global Peloton community.”
“Online training from Skillshare.com has been so useful for me over the past year allowing me to learn brand new skills and upgrade my existing ones while working from home. Learning something new has really helped alleviate some of the frustration and boredom of the last few months of lockdown. In my free time online dress making classes gave me a creative outlet while I was on furlough and going mad trying to home school.
While working remotely I love using Niice.co to create beautiful digital mood boards to share with clients at the start of projects. Following Clark’s rebrand at the end of last year I also used Niice to create image boards with visual cues to help the team understand and apply the brand across the business while we all work from home.”
“It has to be Audible for me. As my job centres around digital media, it can be difficult to switch off at the end of the day but being able to listen to an audiobook on my dog walks has been a refreshing way to keep up with my reading! It has been a pricey activity though, so when I discovered I could access my local library’s stock of audiobooks for free using BorrowBox I was an immediate convert. Now I get the new books from Audible and the recommendations from the team out of the library…albeit virtually.”
“If you’re anything like me, the lack of necessity to get suitably dressed during lockdown saw my motivation levels plummet. In need of something to get me off the couch and away from the ice cream tub, I invested in an Apple watch that promised a healthier lifestyle. Fast forward nearly a year later and I find myself completely converted. Whilst my fitness levels have yet to soar, it gives me motivation to get up and move every day, chase those goals and get those extra 1000 steps in.”