- Viknesh Silvalingam
COVID 19 changing the way we work... forever?
With the recent pandemic impacting not just the health of the many infected citizens of the world, it is creating major dents to the lifestyle and economy. Many countries are currently enforcing quarantine periods, which is also wreaking havoc with our working lifestyle. Shelter in Place is now mandatory in California, where I reside, including New York, Illinois, and many other states in the USA. Thankfully my job, like most other tech positions, has been already set up for remote work with almost 90% of the company workforce not based in San Francisco. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of the workforce, many of whom are required to be out in the field. Occupations like doctors, nurses, construction workers, barbers, bartenders, bus drivers, etc are still either putting their health at risk by being out there to keep some form of society running. What about the film industry? The writers, camera operators, sound recordists, directors, etc they are all severely restricted in what they can do as well.
Filmmaking is a collaborative art form. When you take away the ability for someone to connect, it hinders the creative process. Even writers have writing partners, like the writers room but now they are restricted from being in the same room for discussion. Video chats, emails, Google docs will do the trick but they are all different software and don't integrate with each other as well, which will hinder the creative flow and increase the time taken to complete a simple task. Not to forget it can be very frustrating when one leaves a comment for example in Google doc but responds to it through email, that conversation trail will be broken if someone wants to refer to it later in the future. How I wish The Martini is ready for release to the public, unfortunately, it is not. However, what it has done is to reenvisage my vision and goal of what the product is and what it could achieve.
This COVID19 has really given most of us a hard reset on life priorities. Just like 9-11, the world will never be the same again once we come out of this. Working remotely is going to be much more acceptable, and expected especially if you are showing even the mildest symptoms of an illness. Strong. WIFI accessibility is going to be considered an essential necessity along with water and electricity. There are going to be more collaboration softwares (The Martini included) which workers with mobility disabilities will utilize to get themselves into the workforce.
Till we get out of this situation we are in, we all have to practice social distancing and stay healthy!