Weekend Poll: Lockdown redux and looking forward

Lockdowns, restrictions and … doughnuts

Depending on the region and country in which you live, pandemic-related restrictions have either eased or increased in the last couple of weeks. Here in Vancouver, by the Pacific Ocean, we’re dealing with increased restrictions. These pale, though, in comparison to challenges being experienced in other parts of our country – and even more so when compared to some other countries.

As mentioned in one of my recent articles, people in a number of countries are now dealing with a second round of lockdowns. In contrast, people in Melbourne, Australia have recently emerged from what amounted to one of the longest lockdowns on the planet this year. After 111 days of a lockdown that began in July, things are easing.

Restrictions remain in place for people in Australia’s second largest city, yet its five million or so residents are enjoying warm spring weather and reduced limitations. Many events are still virtual, and I participated in one this last week. The Melbourne EA Group (MEAG) is celebrating its sixth anniversary, and founder Carmel Bond invited me to speak at MEAG’s Sixth Birthday Bonanza. 

In preparing to work with EAs from Melbourne, Geelong, Notting Hill, Perth, Sydney and other locales, I asked Carmel how things were going. She described a sense of her city coming back to life. Residents had been unable to travel more than five kilometers (three miles) from their homes, and had been allowed to leave home for no more than an hour of exercise. Now, with spring well and truly underway, Melburnians can enjoy getting outdoors again under sunny skies – they’ll have temperatures of up to 27C/80F in the week ahead! Face coverings remain mandatory and limitations continue to be a fact of life, yet retail and hospitality businesses have been able to open their doors again.

Thank you, Melbourne

MEAG’s Sixth Birthday Bonanza was a terrific event, with fun and efficient co-hosts Carmel and Holly Bailey, a great group of appreciative, engaged EAs, and four presentations that preceded the evening fun. I’m continuing to receive LinkedIn requests and kind words from Aussie EAs, and appreciate all your notes.

About those doughnuts

Melburnians have been referring to each new day without new COVID-19 cases – “zero days” – as doughnuts. When I congratulated EAs participating in MEAG’s event on their doughnuts to date, Alan, Kerry and Lisa were among those offering celebratory comments in the chat. They were happy to mark 14 doughnuts and, from what I understand, people in Victoria have now been able to celebrate 15 doughnuts and counting! It’s little wonder that at least one Melbourne bakery has reported a run on these treats.

Elsewhere, some assistants have now worked remotely for eight months

E-chatting last night with a friend who typically works in Manhattan, I learned it’s now eight months since she’s been to the office. I know she’s not the only one who’s become accustomed to working remotely. Friends who had experienced easings of restrictions in England, Italy, Scotland and other countries, meanwhile, are now living lockdowns redux.

Productivity, stress, influence and goal setting during pandemic times

I think this is a good time to again see how and what people are doing. Let’s start, shall we? As always, feel free to click on the “Leave a comment” option if you’d like to expand on one of your answers.

November check-in

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below. As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Please check back here in the week ahead for results.

I'm having a difficult timeThe pandemic has brought challenges, but overall I'm doing fineI'm doing well
I was back in the office but am working remotely againI've worked at the office throughout the pandemicI was working remotely & am now back in the officeI'm been working remotely for months; haven't yet been back in the officeI'm out of work and searching for a new roleHybrid - I'm working both remotely and in the office
< a montha month2 months3 months4 months5 months6 months7 months8 months9 months
With some exceptions, my productivity has been consistentMy productivity while working remotely is higher than in the officeMy productivity while working remotely is lower than in the office
Yes; my colleagues have been receptive to ideas and recommendations I've offeredYes, to a certain degreeOn occasionNo; I haven't proposed much in the way of ideas or recommendationsNo; I think it would be seen as beyond my scope to offer recommendations
YesNoI'm not sure
My location doesn't impact the degree to which I experience stress.I encounter less stress working from home than in the officeI encounter less stress working in the office than at homeI don't encounter stress, regardless of where I'm working
I feel comfortable that my job security is a non-issueI'm slightly concerned about job securityWe've been given indicators that there may be job lossesI'm out of work as a result of the pandemic
Yes; I set personal and career goalsYes; I set personal - but not career - goalsYes; I set career - but not personal - goalsNoI have in the past, but not in recent years
Yes; it's an employer expectationYes; it's an employer expectation and yet I'd do so even if that wasn't the caseYes; I do so of my own initiative; it's not expected by my employerNo
Yes; I need to document them for my employerYes; I do so to hold myself accountableNo; I'm uncomfortable sharing goals, in case I don't meet themNo; people might be surprised by the scope of my goalsNo; I've not thought to do so
I've achieved them all, or am on track to achieve them allI've achieved or am on track to achieve some, but not all, my goalsI've tried, but found focusing on goals difficult given the pandemicI put this year's goals on hold as a result of the pandemic; I have enough other things on my plate
YesNoI haven't given this any thoughtI've thought about it, and I'm not sure

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