The Covid-19 virus has changed the way many of us work. Those of us used to an office environment, find themselves hunkered down at home. If we're lucky enough to have a dedicated office space, this may not present too many issues unless there are additional factors at play. Maybe you've children off school who need supervising, or there are other family members all competing for the same space. Maybe you've not got the same technological setup at home as you have in the office. Whatever it is, working from home has challenges.
Even putting the logistical challenges behind, it can prove a lonely and solitary existence. I work from home at least one day a week, but this is the sixth week my office has been completely shutdown. As a social animal, I miss the contact with others. Whether it is a conversation in the kitchen whilst making a cup of tea, or bumping into a colleague in the corridor and being reminded of something you wanted to discuss with them, it is hard to replicate this. As a technology company it is easy to replicate some of this with apps like Slack and Zoom, but they only go some way.
So as it looks like I'll not be going back to the office until June at the earliest, I got to thinking of how I could replicate these informal meetings. My inspiration came from other professions who've organized online meetups. So if the Camden Voices Choir can organize a recording of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" with each singer singing their part from home, organizing a simple web meeting where we can just chat should be a piece of cake. Talking of cake, that would be an excellent accompaniment to the cup of tea, coffee, or other beverage you bring to the meeting :-)
My first challenge was finding the right web conference software. I can't use my work's Zoom account for security reason, so "the right web conference software" meant free and doesn't need participants to have an account. So open source JitsiMeet it is. Here's the invite if you're interested in attending:
Date / Time: Tuesday 21 April 2020 at 5pm (UK British Summer Time)
Link: Click here
In the meantime, here's the aforementioned Camden Voices. Turn up that volume, close your eyes, and wallow in the thrilling beauty of the human voice.