Changing The Rules… with Jessica Morgan, Carnsight Communications

Carnsight Communications Founder Jessica Morgan is rounding off our Changing The Rules series looking into media working life under lockdown.

From listening to Adele (Jess will explain in a minute) to growing her own wholesome veg, Jess proves it really is possible to adapt positively to this new normal.

Jessica Morgan

Jessica Morgan

Lockdown has brought me full circle.

Having started off from the kitchen table, literally, four years ago before creating a home office, we then moved out and into our first serviced offices last September, becoming a team of three.

It was great to be surrounded by other businesses, to have dedicated meeting rooms, a dedicated space away from home.

And now…here I am, back in my home office!

But it’s a time to try and be grateful for what we have and a time for looking forward, rather than looking back.

There are always ups and downs as a business owner, but we’re pleased to have had a busy month.

I’m working with brilliant people including my right-hand, Leigh-Ann Hewer, remotely; and I get to be surrounded by those I love all the time, including Clifford the Cockapoo.

1. Blending

Which brings me to my first point. The insightful coach, Emma Jefferys, talks not about striving to achieve a work-life balance, but a work-life blend.

I agree, and now I’m living a blend more than ever; with children appearing in tiger onesies in new business Zooms, the dog barking to go out mid-journalist call, the Seesaw homeschooling app quietly overloading my wifi.

Seesaw home learning
Mind blending: Child learning apps like Seesaw vie for space with Zoom in the Morgan household.

As the weeks have gone by, the merging and blending has only increased. I’m now finding myself much more relaxed about it, and so are the children.

I can only think this blending will continue and I’ll see it as more of a positive.

2. Neighbours become good friends…

We live in a cul de sac, and although I know my next door neighbours well, I never thought I’d be easily exchanging memes about resident hedgehogs with all 15 other households around me!

I must admit, when I received the WhatsApp notification that I was added to a new group in my street, I was a little surprised.

But it’s quickly become a place to offer help to the oldest residents (paper collections, milk deliveries), give them the opportunity to add groceries to a much-coveted online shop, share cheery clips to get us all through as well as charting the progress of the hedgehogs through our gardens.

I really hope the closer bonds will continue.

3. Whistle while you work

Throughout my A-Level revision I remember needing complete silence. My mix tapes and Radio One chart recordings (remember those!) didn’t get anywhere near my cassette player.

But something changed over the years of working in adland and then PR agencies, particularly with the advent of Spotify, and now I work so much better with ambient music.

jessica morgan - mix tape
Ambient sounds: Jessica Morgan revisits her old mix tapes days with Spotify.

My go-to playlist is laid-back pop, and even now the dulcet tones of Adele and Freya Ridings are floating around me. Music is a real mood enhancer and I don’t think I could be without it.

4. (Virtual) team work

I’ve appreciated having people around me, virtually, more than ever during lockdown.

It’s been a while since I worked alone and although we all still need time to ourselves, head down, I really love switching my video on and seeing my colleague Leigh-Ann and her cheery smile in the mornings.

leigh-ann hewer
Carnsight cheer: Morgan misses coffee time with colleague Leigh-Ann Hewer, but video calls make up for it.

You can’t replicate a coffee and a chat in the office, but we get as close to that as we can.

So many things have changed within the industry, my clients, the world, and it’s nice to be navigating it together with someone else I trust.

It’s also very hard to brainstorm alone! To borrow an adage, it also takes a village to build a business, so that also extends to my network of other business owners and advisors who are collectively, virtually helping each other through.

5. The power of nature

We’ve grown a lot of things recently! There’s something about watching little shoots grow and change by the day which feels very positive.

We’ve planted all the seeds we had – I think there might be an abundance of chard in our kitchen soon! – and have also watched caterpillars hatch into beautiful butterflies and even crystals emerge that have been grown from powder.

Strong roots: After a hard day’s work in global media, the Morgan family tend to their burgeoning veg garden.

Having grown up in rural Cornwall I’ve always craved being outside, whatever the weather (again, thanks to my Cornish upbringing where there was a lot of it!)

So thank goodness for the sunshine which has helped us get outside and walking once a day as a family.

The spring has sprung earlier this year and it’s brilliant to chart its progress and enjoy what’s all around us.

I’m proud my children know their primroses from their daffodils and can spot apple blossom. That’s definitely my kind of home schooling.

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