Written by Mathias Michel who lives and works in Munich building useful things. Follow me on Twitter
The Corona crisis is the worst economic crisis since World War 2 and no one can yet know what economic effects we will see. Today I don’t want to talk about the negative consequences, but about my three lessons I have learned from the crisis.
How well can I work remotely or from the home office?
After I often read on the internet about people who have built their own online business and work from any location, I wondered if I could work from home. The current lockdown has given me the opportunity to try exactly that. Since the middle of March I have been working from my home office and could find out what is important for me.
First of all the right equipment is very important. This includes a good chair, a table (preferably height adjustable), and a light-flooded workroom. Unfortunately my current equipment is not as I planned it. For the current time I took a small table from the cellar and took a wooden chair from the kitchen and put it in the bedroom. The room is oriented to the north side and therefore a bit dark. I can still work well and it is better than nothing, but through this I have learned what is important for me.
Another point is the social contacts and interaction that are missing after some time. It is therefore exciting for me to see how the companies deal with this problem. At Jambit there are approaches such as shared remote meals or a daily Microsoft Team Call where you can talk to colleagues with whom you have less contact.
And last but not least I miss the way to work, where I used the time on the train to study or to listen to a podcast. Now I have time to read after work but I still miss listening to a podcast. I do not have a solution for this yet. Maybe I will go for a walk in the future and listen to a podcast.
Financial education is important
Another thing that I noticed is the importance of financial education and the building of reserves. Unfortunately, not enough people do this although they earn well. If they get a wage increase, they also increase consumer spending. Especially now, when many people lose their jobs or have less income, they have no reserves to fall back on. The state then has to step in for these people. An important question to ask yourself in this situation is: How many weeks or months will I survive without income?
In my case, it looks like I live under my own circumstances (no car and little consumption) and this has allowed me to build up financial reserves. Even if I as a developer have less to worry about than, for example, pilots, the effects in the software service industry are also noticeable, because many customers are cautious at the moment and have cut budgets. Because I have a financial reserve and have my expenses under control, I can definitely sleep peacefully and worry less.
Look for the opportunities
The last thing I noticed was that despite the negative mood, there are always opportunities. Just like the learnings from this post, we should not concentrate too much on the negative aspects and instead learn from them.
There have been several crises in history and we have survived them. This is now my first worldwide crisis, which I am actively experiencing because I was still in school during the last crisis and therefore had other interests. And now I use this chance to learn from it. This should also be done by the people who have no job and are sitting at home. Instead of spending the gained time with Netflix, you can use the time to learn something for your next job.
Besides the chance to learn for the future, you can take the chance to help people and sew masks, start a new online business, take advantage of the low prices on the stock market and invest, or just read a good book.
In this sense, stay safe and make the best of the current situation.