Since joining the network two years ago, Tom has worked on key clients for Croud, providing support on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and copywriting tasks. Being on the Croudie Network has allowed him to travel the globe, working from one country to the next – so much so, that he’s also a Network Ambassador for Croud. In this blog, Tom shares his experience on the Network, particularly, during the ongoing pandemic.
Escape from Bangkok
“Excuse me, is this the queue for the London flight?” she asked.
“Yes, I’m afraid so” I replied.
“But…there are too many people, we won’t make it!”
We both looked down the line. It surely numbered over 300 people but it just wasn’t moving.
On March 22nd 2020, I found myself in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport alongside thousands of others for one simple reason: it represented perhaps our best and only chance of getting back to London before flights were cancelled and borders were closed.
Like many others on line that day, I realised having a ticket was no guarantee of getting home. Bookings were being cancelled daily as countries around the world struggled to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was the start of a strange new reality. In the hostel the previous night, I had sat in the background listening to everyone’s travel plans while working on some last minute changes for a copywriting task, a project that provided at least a sense of some normality.
Thankfully, for myself and many others flying home that day, we landed safely in London Heathrow just 12 hours later.
A strange new reality
In the film Love Actually, whenever Hugh Grant’s character gets gloomy with the state of the world, he thinks about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport to remind him that love is all around.
With shops shuttered, flights cancelled and social distancing in place, it certainly wasn’t Love Actually. In fact, in this dark new environment perhaps the only spark of normality and positivity was the ping of an email to notify me of a new task on the Croudie Network. I gladly accepted as I hurried towards the exit doors trying not to touch my face or anything else in the airport.
I have worked remotely with Croud for two years now. In that time, I have been lucky enough to travel to 75 countries with not a care in the world, so long as there was reliable WiFi, strong coffee and somewhere to charge my Macbook.
My plans for 2020 were equally carefree. However, like so many people around me, I found myself in a completely unknown situation. In my case, I would spend the next 100 days in lockdown with my parents, living back in the family home.
The unprecedented and the familiar
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in so many ways, not least in terms of economic damage, social impact and the speed at which it has spread around the globe.
No household or industry has been left untouched while many others are being transformed before our eyes. Global stock markets have plunged and job losses have already been severe, drawing comparisons with the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Great Depression of the 1920s.
But on a more positive note, there has not only been swift action from governments, but a remarkable sense of community from the public. The world has also adapted quickly to a ‘new normal’ with creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
Many businesses have also been learning to work remotely for the first time, something that over the past few years has come naturally to myself and 2,300 other ‘Croudies.’ Many suggest that this is likely to endure beyond the current crisis.
So even despite all the disruption and the difficulty, working for Croud during the Coronavirus pandemic has been a strangely familiar experience. In fact, over the next few months I would help my parents familiarise themselves with Google docs and webcam etiquette, skills that had already become second nature to myself and the many other remote workers that make up the Croud Network.
Learning new skills
The year 2020 has certainly been unexpected, but there have also been so many inspiring personal stories of lockdown learning and self improvement.
From running to yoga, dieting, baking, languages, calligraphy and craftwork, it seems that just about everyone has been picking up a new creative hobby during their downtime. The internet has never been so busy as creatives rush to upload YouTube tutorials or schedule Zoom classes to meet a surge in demand.
I myself had plans to study languages abroad this year but have found Duolingo to be an excellent alternative. I have also been completing online assessments with Croud Academy to hone existing skills in SEO, data science and content marketing, giving me qualifications in everything from search query analysis to influencer outreach and best practices for social media marketing.
In fact, one of the things I like most about working for Croud is the quality of the online courses they provide to the network, given the 24/7 nature of digital media which creates a constant need to refine and improve skills.
A look to the future
It goes without saying that times are tough right now. It certainly hasn’t been easy over these last few months, especially for those who have lost loved ones or who feel anxious about the future.
However, if we have learned anything about human nature from our past, it is that we are inherently innovative and adaptable as a species. Great individuals and great companies will always find a way to adapt to changing circumstances.
As a platform business with a global footprint, Croud has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to digital transformation, automation, online learning and results. That’s why I am optimistic for the future.
To find out more about the Croudie Network and how you can join us, get in touch.