How does the digital environment help you get through periods of uncertainty and isolation

We are experiencing an unexpected spring. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, most of us work from home, and the rest of our days are spent in isolation. Free time seems to have been compressed, but in fact, if we discover how much we can do, the conclusion will be that it has expanded. Because beauty, hope and creativity are not on break, they just transform.

The online environment, where we all meet during this period, has become even richer in information, in various digital solutions for optimizing work at home, in resources for individual study, in leisure and cultural alternatives.

It is a real treasure besides we should not pass indifferent. In fact, we may come out even more educated and cultivated from this period. So we should take full advantage of what is offered to us (most of it for free) during this period:

1. Solutions for work from home

The dynamics of the group doesn’t change when some of the team members work from home. But when we all have to work from home, things are definitely different.

Even if you can no longer turn to the colleague behind you to ask a question, there are solutions that can help teams be productive, communicate effectively and organize their tasks at the highest level. Here is a list of useful apps:

For a smooth communication

Flowdock

Google Hangouts Meet

GoToMeeting

Join.Me

Slack

WebEx

Workplace by Facebook

Zoom

For a great project management

Asana

Bitrix

Microsoft Teams

Monday

Redbooth

Teamwork

Trello

Wimi

Bonus: For those who want to get back into the work environment there is the website imisstheoffice.eu. It is made to generate exactly the noises from the office that you normally would hate, but without which you can no longer resist. 😊 And, for those who tend to be too wrapped up in their work, especially at home, there is an app that forces you to take a break: donothingfor2minutes.com.

2. Online courses

Now it’s a really good idea to use your spare time to think about how you might start to improve your skills or learn new things. During this isolation time, investing in yourself might mean choosing to forget about social media and the news for a couple hours every evening and take up an online class, from cooking to learning a new language.

Many universities and platforms offer free courses. If you want to support your professional development or your old passion, you need to know that there are many possibilities out there. Here are some of them:

Online free courses from Google

Online free courses from American Universities: Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, Columbia, Pennsylvania

Online free courses from Deakin University, one of the top 10 universities in Australia

Online free courses on Coursera.org (one of the most popular educational platforms in the world, with a star course: The science of well-being)

Online free courses on Ecursuri.ro (from geometry and literature, to makeup and personal development)

Online free courses from Nikon

3. Theater and opera shows

No one would have ever thought so far that we can enjoy theater or opera performances from our own sofa. What, until now, seemed absurd, is now becoming a norm adopted by more and more people. Watching such a show, even online, will give you a very pleasant feeling of fulfillment.

The famous Globe Theater in London hosts on its YouTube channel shows from previous seasons. Each show stays online for 2 weeks.

The Comedy Theater (Teatrul de Comedie) has launched #comediaîncarantină program, that will run until May 15 and will include various video materials from the archive, but also specially created materials, in the context of the current situation. All will be broadcast exclusively in the virtual environment, free of charge.

The Bulandra Theater  has moved its activity online, streaming the recording of its shows on its Facebook page. All the shows can be watched for free.

George Enescu International Festival will bring in our homes concerts recorded during the festival. A concert stays online for four days and the project will run for an indefinite period.

The Paris Opera is offering its most beautiful shows, free online.

The Metropolitan Opera has launched the program “Nightly Met Opera Streams”. Streaming is free, and each show will be available online for 20 hours.

Broadway offers a 7 day free-trial. You can now stream your favourite hits.

The Romanian National Opera Cluj-Napoca invites you to relive the magic of the lyrical and choreographic events of the last seasons through the streaming offered on the official website.

OperaVision will celebrate the birthplace of opera in April and Italy’s influence across the world – a project supported by European Union which can be found on YouTube.

4. Books

We can still order books online, of course, but in parallel we have the opportunity to read some of the best books we can access for free. Here is a list of great online resources:

Scribd – free acces for 30 days

New York Public Library – over 300,000 online free books

World Digital Library – an impressive collection of books from all times

Audible  – hundreds of audiobooks with 30 days free-trial

Humanitas offers 50 free ebooks

Google – several free ebook titles in the Play Store

Apple – a “Stay at home” ebooks catalog through its Apple Books service (via 9to5Mac)

Penguin Random House Audio free audiobook downloads of three classic children’s titles until April 30

And last but not least, “Coronavirus and Business: The Insights You Need from Harvard Business Review” is a compilation of sixteen recent articles from hbr.org. It provides you with essential thinking about keeping your company running remotely, managing your business through disaster and recovery, and finding it within yourself to lead with resilience through the crisis. The Ebook PDF edition of “Coronavirus and Business: The Insights You Need from Harvard Business Review” is available to all for free on hbr.org.

5. Virtual tours

Probably until now you were not taking into account to the trend of virtual cultural tourism, preferring to live the experience right on the spot. However, in conditions of prolonged isolation, you will surely be grateful that you can visit great places around the world with the help of technology.

Cities, countries and wilderness

Virtual tour of 4 cities in Austria

Virtual tour of Tel Aviv

Virtual tour of Jerusalem

Virtual tour of tulips fields in Holland

Virtual tour – safari în Africa

Museums

Vatican Museums , Rome

Luvru Museum, Paris

Muée d’Orsay, Paris

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Dali Museum, Catalonia

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milano

Pergamon Museum, Berlin

Archeology Museum, Athens

Ermitaj Museum, Sankt Petersburg

Guggenheim Museum, New York

Also, over 100 museums in Romania are included on this list. You can visit them through virtual tours, panoramic images or digitized images transposed in 3D.

So, now that you have so many options to work more efficiently, to learn new things or to enjoy for free wonderful books, shows and virtual tours, what will you start with? 😊