"I have always worked from my home office, so fortunately for me I was already set up to work from home before the lockdown."
As soon as the Government restrictions came into place, BASF took the decision to stop all business travel and that was the biggest change for me.
My role is customer-facing, so not being able to go out and about to see people face-to-face has made my job very different.
Rather than a ‘typical day’ of visiting farmers and agronomists or travelling to meetings, I now permanently sit at my desk on a virtual meeting or on the phone.
I have adapted to this new way of working and am fortunate to have been able to continue doing my job, but I really am looking forward to being able to see people face-toface again, even if it is at a two-metre distance.
Luckily, I managed to finish all of my customer spring update presentations just before the lockdown restrictions came into place.
But we are now approaching the typical ‘summer demo season’, where I would normally be providing trials tours at our Rawcliffe Bridge site, Yorkshire.
Obviously, this is not going to be possible this year, so we are moving all of our events online into the BASF Virtual Farm, which will be launched later this month.
Giving presentations is a regular part of my job, but this has always been face-to-face to a group of people in a room or on a farm.
I have never previously done this sort of thing virtually, so I have quickly had to adapt and learn how to do this online.
Making sure you can be seen and heard clearly is the most important part, which can be especially challenging with rural broadband.
Also, getting engagement during online presentations can be very difficult, so adapting presentation style is a must.
We have managed really well to continue working effectively as a business.
If you had told me six months ago I would be working from home and I wasn’t able to go anywhere, I would have said it wasn’t possible.
But we have all pulled together as a team and kept it ‘business as usual’ as best we can.
Many farmers have also been adapting and working closely with supermarkets and the food industry to ensure we have a continued and reliable supply of food, particularly during the panic buying we saw earlier in the pandemic.
During this period, the changes I’ve had to make in my work and personal life are insignificant in comparison to what key workers, such as our NHS staff, have had to make.
As nice as it would be to return to work as normal, it’s more important we stay safe and not undo all the hard work everyone has already achieved.
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