It’s going to be a tough time. Working from home sounds great, until it becomes your only option. Until you can’t see your friends and colleagues. Can’t exchange tea-break chatter, friendly advice or supportive hugs. For some people, working from home isn’t an option anyway. And for some, these new, hands-off ways of working will threaten their entire livelihood.

We’ll be surrounded by complication and uncertainty, for example around exams, career paths, child care or travel arrangements. Creature comforts will be harder to come by. Even what we regard as first world “essentials” will be in short supply. The restful holidays we were looking forward to may never happen.

There will be loneliness. There will be fear. There will be distress. Coronavirus seeks out the most vulnerable – older people, and people with underlying health conditions. If you’re one of those people, or someone you care about is one of those people, quieter trains and flexible working hours won’t be much of a comfort.

And at this very difficult time, we will be deprived of exactly what it is that keeps many of us going: human contact.

Isolation indeed.

Share with our LinkedIn group

We know there will be people in the IP professions who struggle during the next few months, whether with the practical aspects of their work and home lives or with the emotional impact of increased isolation. So if you haven’t already, please join our LinkedIn group and use it to keep in touch with your fellow IP professionals. Share ideas and thoughts about your new working arrangements. How are you coping? How are you making the most of this time? Post comments to cheer other people up – or post about your own worries and allow others to help you cope. We’ll all have different issues to deal with, and different ways of tackling them; let’s share what we can.

Don’t forget that you can turn to LawCare for support and guidance: their helpline 0800 279 6888 is available Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5.30 pm; they run a “live chat” facility on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1.15 to 5.30 pm and on Thursdays from 9 am to 1.15 pm, or you can email them at [email protected]. If you urgently need to speak to someone outside of those times, please call Samaritans on 116 123.

There’s more information about sources of support on our Mental Health and Wellbeing page.

Take care. Exercise if you can; eat and drink sensibly; get plenty of sleep. And please, don’t struggle on alone.



Page published on 17th March 2020
Page last modified on 17th March 2020

Comments: (1):


Remember: "self isolation" does not mean that you need to avoid all 'human contact' and in fact most people who always live in isolation are keen to point out that it is most important to keep some form of contact with other people, whether that be by telephone, social media, video conference (if you are lucky enough to have the resources) or pursuing on-line training and conferences. Try to see the positives and opportunities that working from home offers. You are not limited to fixed hours, so try to mix up the activities that you do throughout the day i.e. schedule certain work requiring the input of others when most people are available, but take a slower pace where you can do work on your own and remember to take regular breaks to exercise, read a book or some other activity you enjoy. In our global workspace remember that 'time differences' can be your friend! So when you're local contacts are unavailable, why not use the opportunity to speak with your contacts in other countries.

Debra Smith

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