So we're three weeks in. Or is it four?
I find its easy to lose track of time when my routine is so rigid. Perhaps its easy to get frustrated about what social isolating means you can and can’t do. But I have noticed some positive consequences of working from home.
First and foremost, I’m getting to see my wife and two children a whole heap more. The nature of my job has meant that I’m normally only in the house to share a meal with them once a day (if that). However at the moment I’m managing three!
I’m also enjoying getting to see my colleagues in their natural habitat. We’re all used to seeing colleagues in the office but I don’t think you know someone until you see their children / partner / pet stroll past or interrupt a video conference. And while I was a bit self-conscious about it to start with, it has normalised itself pretty quickly and it’s nice to be regularly reminded that everyone has a life outside of work.
The rationing of outside time has also focused my mind on exercise and I’m probably doing more now than I was before this started. Thankfully we avoided February monsoon season. Let’s hope the weather holds.
While working from home has quickly assumed a degree of normality, for me at least, I realise the implications of COVID-19 are being keenly felt by many across the tech startup community. And for others, there remains a huge degree of uncertainty.
We recently asked over 100 Eagle Labs and Rise members how they were being impacted by COVID-19 and how Barclays could support. Perhaps unsurprisingly, around 80% of them told us that their main concerns related to cash flow and reduced productivity. And over 60% asked for our support with fundraising and virtual networking.
We're using this data to help us shape how we can best support. For example, right now we're working on:
- a range of virtual events and programmes related to fundraising and government grants. This week we hosted an event with our partners, Capital Enterprise, to talk through UK Government COVID-19 funding initiatives that startups may be eligible for. And we have more in the pipeline
- expanding our mentoring programme to ensure we’re reaching more of our community than we’ve ever done before with leading experts in the startup tech sector
- releasing a number of exclusive member offers for innovative products and services that will help startups manage their cash flow, deal management, as well as their health and wellbeing, to name a few.
While we work on these, we're also acutely aware of possible funding and cashflow issues faced by many of our members. And while the Government is working hard on the CIBILs scheme, we recognise that this may not be appropriate for many tech startups. What we also know is that this is an evolving situation and there are a number of organisations from across the sector working very hard on identifying and developing a solution to help address this gap. Cross-sector collaboration is definitely there and I hope we’ll see some additional support in the near future. To help inform this work, we’d encourage you to complete the following survey being undertaken by Local Globe – survey link.
We’re working hard to stay connected to our members during this uncertain time and to provide you with the support you need.
If you have any ideas how we can help more, please do get in touch with me directly.
Co-founder Eagle Labs