Our Coronavirus journey
As the Covid-19 pandemic was becoming ever more prevalent in the UK in the early days of March 2020, and fear of the unknown swept the world, Yellow Cherry was fortunate to have enough studio space for everyone to be in their own individual working area. We however, like everyone else, had to act quickly and review our systems and processes to keep our clients and team safe.
We were thrown into a world of hand sanitiser, office ventilation, and signs to keep people away from us and warn people from getting ‘too social’. An alien world really, so far removed from the engagement and collaboration we enjoy, and that is the heartbeat of our everyday work life.
But like most we too were frightened and, with every Breaking News alert, the reality of this beast sunk in a little deeper.
When Government advised to ‘Work from Home’ unless essential we all packed up what we needed. We set ourselves up at home in a new corner, landing, spare room or dining table, and our kids started to share bedrooms again. Many of us were joined by partners, children, housemates and pets – all working and learning from home, all juggling and facing these new challenges together.
We started daily Microsoft Teams check-ins to make sure everyone saw a friendly face and, amid all the worry and crazy, Rachel’s fancy dress Friday always gave us something to look forward to. Sarah’s children didn’t seem to see the need to keep it to Friday.
After March 23rd 2020, it was like the world just stopped. No phone rang, no leads came in, projects were shelved. Many of our clients were facing the horror of losing everything they had built. We spent the month fervently tying up projects and getting websites up to date, knowing we would need to furlough our own team during the drought but not wanting to leave our clients out in the cold.
It wasn’t a great time for our team. So much of our working day revolves around bouncing ideas off each other and problem solving. Virtual meetings are ok, but it’s not the same and it sure takes a lot longer. And does anyone else get ‘Zoom red hot face?’ – we are convinced that is a real thing! But no one complained. Sure we struggled but everyone dug deep and we counted our blessings.
Our industry benefitted from government grants for digital projects, for which we are very grateful, and a relaxation of the guidance around Creative Studio space working. When the rules relaxed just after the Summer enquiries picked up and we took on extra studio space to accommodate the team 2m apart, and in two separate suites, so we could try and get back to a more productive state of working. It felt so weird. However, if it meant a positive impact on the mental health of the team, restricting the spread of the virus, and that we could serve our clients better we got on with it.
Like everyone else we carried out risk assessments and adopted stricter hygiene measures, hand sanitisers literally everywhere, foot pedal bins, mask wearing when not at your desk, ventilation, deep cleans and all the rest of it.
Team members also took advantage of the ability to cycle to work to limit the risk of infection travelling by public transport. Staff handbooks were updated with COVID-19 measures and as time went by all instructions were updated when necessary.
We did feel like we had a bit of our mojo back come late Autumn 2020 so the January 2021 lockdown news was a big blow to us but, as before, the team just made it work. By this time, some of us had lost people we knew to Covid-19 or the impact of it through the reduction of other NHS services. Some of us have family members as key workers, some of us have children in education, all of whom have carried a heavier load. Pulling together was the only way to stop this virus and everyone knew they had a part to play in that.
As we creep back out of lockdown and approach our freedom day, steps continue to be put in place to protect all members of staff:
- Risk Assessments have been undertaken and are reviewed regularly, especially following Government announcements.
- Staff remain 2m socially distanced during the working day, with masks worn at all times unless seated at their desks.
- No client meetings are currently being held within the office to further lessen the risk of infection.
- Each member of staff has their own hand sanitiser and common touch points, such as the office phone/kettle/fridge, are wiped with antibacterial wipes after use.
- Signage remains up throughout the building, reminding us of health and safety advice and informing contractors of the rules for entry
We continue to monitor the situation and offer our support and services. We’d rather be overcautious with our measures and be grateful that we can work together and serve our clients. This is something we do not take lightly as it is not an option afforded to all.
We thank all of our clients for their support during these times. If you have any questions around our Covid-19 policy or procedures please get in touch.