Communicating during COVID-19
Today's networking tools have allowed most of us to carry on with business and collaboration
By Neil Sutton
We’ve all got a lot to think about as fall begins.
It’s traditionally a time when vacations wind down, kids go back to school, and we find that extra gear to propel ourselves towards the challenges that the last quarter of the year will bring. Of course, back to school, both for K-12 and university students, brings challenges no one could have foreseen last September.
The image of our children wearing face masks and staying six feet away from their classmates to prevent the spread of a virus seems more suited to a movie-of-the-week than the reality we will undoubtedly share for months to come. We explore this scenario in this issue of SP&T and take a closer look at some of the measures schools are putting in place to mitigate COVID-19 spread.
One thought that has really been on my mind lately is, how would we have coped with this pandemic 10 years ago? Or 20 years ago? What if this had happened in the 1990s, when the Internet was still in its infancy? If there’s something we can be grateful for, it’s that the infrastructure we have in place today has allowed us to communicate with each other almost effortlessly.
I’ve heard mixed reactions to the current work-from-home situation many of us are facing, from those who love its flexibility and lack of commute, to others who lament the loss of office culture, coffee meetings and face-to-face communication. But I don’t know anyone who hasn’t in some way benefited from video communication as means to basically keep going.
Our new regular video series, Security Coffee Break, utilizes the split-screen format we’ve all become so familiar with. We’re able to check in with industry figures like Chris Currie, president of Damar Security, and Jacquelyn Davies, VP of sales at Bosch Canada, and share their observations with our audience. (Check our website for more videos — we’re adding them bi-weekly.)
Edmonton-based Fibertel Communications was recently acknowledged as Integrator of the Year, sponsored by Anixter Canada, for a project that relied on detailed and almost constant coordination between project partners (read our cover story for more details). The vast majority of this project was completed before the pandemic set in, but there were still details to manage in March and more recent months. Collaboration moved online and teams had to coordinate by video conference rather than face-to-face. But that option is at least there, as it is for most of us.
It can be difficult to keep morale high when circumstances are so challenging, but I think we can all appreciate the fact that communication barriers are as low as they’ve ever been.