Each day we speak to a journalist about their new normal, today we hear from Hugh Morris.
Hugh Morris is Travel News Editor at The Telegraph.
Where are you working from right now?
I am working from home, obviously, with my desk set up in our multi-purpose study, nursery, dining room, spare room.
What’s your new morning routine?
My wife had our first child two days before lockdown, so the morning routine very much depends on her (my daughter, not my wife, though…). Generally, I try to wake, shower and have coffee and some sort of breakfast before I sit at my desk for 8.30/9. But best laid plans, etc.
What is your workwear looking like?
Where possible I try to dress in real clothes, that is, jeans and a t-shirt, rather than pyjamas/loungewear. I also always put on my watch to give some semblance of normality and professionalism. Obviously, sometimes I’m just in my pants all day.
How has your working week changed since Covid-19 hit?
The absence of a commute has made the day’s pace gentler, cutting out two hours-plus wasted on travel. Otherwise, I have been kept busy by the steady and impressive schedule of content produced on Telegraph Travel. There is plenty in the way of news – the when, why, how and whats of the changing state of the industry in these chaotic times – and consumer advice, not to mention the inspirational features, first-persons and comments pieces we have been producing.
What are the current plans for filling your pages?
As above, really. But my focus is currently online.
What does a work lunch look like these days?
What would we all give for a Pret now, huh? My diet has turned fairly cheese on toast heavy, but I think we all seem to be snacking less out of the office. We were sent a few boxes of brownies after my daughter was born so that proved good roughage.
What’s the biggest challenge for your desk/publication right now?
Given the unprecedented nature of what is happening in the world of travel right now, it has been at times difficult to assess quickly the impact on British holidaymakers, from those with packages booked to independent travellers etc. On a broader note, Telegraph Travel is faced with the task of keeping travellers motivated and inspired, so that when restrictions are lifted they’ll be knocking down the doors of the nation’s travel firms.
One of the issues the industry is struggling with at the moment that I find interesting is the refunds conundrum: consumers rightly want money back for their cancelled trips, but at what cost, if it means a tour operator goes bankrupt? This is something that will need to be resolved, working in cooperation with the government.
Has anything positive come out of this?
Were we at a point where we were taking travel for granted? Everything was so easy: cheap flights, a wealth of accommodation and myriad cities, beaches and mountains to visit. Perhaps we were on the move so much and so often that some of the joy of a holiday was lost. I know much of the lockdown talk has been about planning that trip of a lifetime for 2021 and beyond, so maybe all this has rekindled a passion for travel that is a privilege not a right.
What’s your top tip for PRs right now?
Be open and honest with the challenges you’re facing and what it might take to fix them. There has never been a less appropriate time for “PR speak”.
What’s your comeback plan?
I really need a haircut before I go out in public again.
Follow Hugh Morris on Twitter.