The pharmaceutical industry has joined the global effort to combat the novel coronavirus; supporting governments and health services with diagnostics, medicines, and technologies to facilitate frontline treatment and the development of a vaccine.
To see industry giants investing huge resources into this fight is a cold reminder of the problem’s scale. It can, however, make a librarian who is otherwise detached from this area of the business, feel proud to work with clients who have joined the call to arms.
My work at ICP was first impacted when our client was obliged to close off business travel just moments before our flights were booked. It was to be my first business trip and face-to-face engagement with their stakeholders and users of the DAM. However, rightly focussing on the importance of safety, we instead booked out an internal meeting room for Skype meetings from 9-5 and in my mind set the trend for WFH collaborations before it was cool. With a half hour break for lunch, we ran to Goodge Street market and opted for sandwiches over bratwurst, deeming the Bavarian delicacy a sore point in light of the missed trip to Germany.
The transition from office life to working from home has been largely stress-free. There are always means to adapt; instead of meeting with users for workshops, we have been developing surveys, e-trainings, and refresher courses to help support them and to continue improving data quality. As someone who has seen the bad side of this virus, I do have the rest of the team to thank immensely for picking up the pieces during my absence in true ICP fashion and for helping to ease my return to work. I’ll leave it to them to talk about their own experiences during this bizarre episode of our lives!
Zak de la Bédoyère, Brand Asset Manager
With lockdown in full effect, heading to the office and starting your 9am meetings aren’t really possible but adjusting to working virtually hasn’t been too difficult. With everyone working from home, they’re only a call or message away from collaborating together in the comfort of your own home and luckily for us, we’ve had a bit of experience due to calls with clients and our two new members starting up in Mumbai so Skype meetings were already a part of our daily lives. In terms of the work itself, creating PowerPoint presentations and reviewing spreadsheets from Teams is pretty much the norm so transitioning this from the office to at home has been as smooth as you’d think (except that one time Teams went down globally!). My only issue throughout this whole month revolved around a dodgy microphone, which conveniently decided to stop working in my first meeting from home and meant a lovely half hour call with Manuel our IT guy! Other than that, working during lockdown has been pretty easy to get used to and we all can’t wait to see everyone in person again!
Vishal Phandey, Brand Asset Specialist
My lockdown experiences within the pharmaceutical environment have been challenging, yet mainly enjoyable. With the apocalypse looming, many elements of the day to day duties have become inconvenient but accommodating. While I no longer find myself conforming to an unnaturally unhealthy two-and-a-half-hour trip of buses and trains, I do find the notion of sitting at home completing work every day to be a slightly uncomfortable experience. Though the basics of the work have not changed, I found many aspects of the bustling workplace environment to be extremely socially cathartic. Nevertheless, although our work patterns have altered considerably, on the contrary we have seen a significant increase in involvement from the pharma client and their partners. Personally, by working in an incredibly flexible environment, I discover myself remaining focused on specific components of work for extended periods of time and I am quickly becoming involved in more challenging, yet rewarding, areas of the work.
Gerard Marshall, Global Librarian
Zak de la Bédoyère, Brand Asset Manager, London
Zak graduated from Bristol University in 2018 with a Joint Honours in French and Spanish. With a brief stint as a baker, his sour dough culture was soon cast aside in favour of the infectious world of DAM. He joined ICP in 2019 and has since transitioned into a Brand Asset Manager on the Bayer account. On weekends you can catch him playing the drums or drinking wine to reconnect with his French heritage, all the while sporting an exuberant collection of questionable shirts.
Vishal Phandey, Brand Asset Specialist, London