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The Covid diaries: Day 35 - Ground Control to Major Tom

The Covid diaries: Day 35 - Ground Control to Major Tom

A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.

By Darren Isaacs - 5 May

I have so many alerts to manage on my laptop now that some days I feel like I am DJ-ing at a live concert, or flying a plane.

Not that I have ever done either of those things, but you get what I mean.

I am someone who has always embraced "tidy desk, tidy mind" as a working philosophy. That extends to my online environment. As soon as a red alert pops up on my iPhone, I like to sort it out. I'm definitely not one of those people who has a mail icon on his or her phone with thousands of unopened messages taunting them from a little red circle. Or even a single unread message.

Like many businesses, once we moved into home-working as our primary office location, we also moved into 'virtual' everything. Meetings, blogs, chats, etc etc. A recent survey of the UK legal market recently showed that the most popular online call apps are Zoom (22%), Microsoft Teams (17%), Skype (16%), and then the rest (23%) [note: that only adds up to 78% in total - not sure what happened to the other 22% but maybe they don't use online call apps at all]. The numbers themselves aren't that important, the principle is. Lawyers have embraced online working environments just like everyone else.

For us, we have gravitated to Microsoft Teams as we already use other Microsoft products. On the whole, it is an awesome set of tools.

However, one downside is that I am now finding that my communication "channel" management time is skyrocketing. Emails (work and personal accounts), phone, video calls, wiki entries, Team chats, text messages and WhatsApp. My entire desk beeps and buzzes at me all day long, with every app trying to outbid the other for my attention. And then there is the dish-washer and washing machine, both of which have the same annoying high-pitched beeping to tell me that they are done (the same high-pitched beeping the office photocopier also had - those were the days).

So, I am very happy for all of this new technology, but Oh. My. Goodness. some days I could do with an extra pair of hands to manage all the alerts that pop up every 30 seconds on my screen!!

If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.