2020 and COVID-19 has been unexpected - to say the least. But what is even more unexpected are the silver linings.
Who would have thought a global pandemic would hurtle us towards being more human. In many ways. While there is a long list that is genuine and heart felt, the one I want to talk about is how it's made the workplace more human.
COVID-19 has made the workplace more human
So how and why has this come about?
It's because while we are further distanced - by lockdown and the "cocooning" which is happening, we are seeing and treating each other as whole humans. People who have laundry in the background, kids walking past - complaining there is nothing to eat and dogs jumping up wanting attention. Cereal bowls on the desk, sweats and comfy clothes and a glimpse into the real person behind the desk. Regardless of your level of seniority - we've discovered that people are just people. It's relieving, heart warming, and inspiring. It says to everyone - I can have a family, a life and a career.
So how has this happened?
Very simply, the walls between work and life outside of work have come crashing down. It's not to say we didn't know anything about our colleagues prior - its just that we got the 2 minute censored "water cooler" snapshot version on most occasions. It was silently considered "unprofessional" in most workplaces to integrate work and life. For families juggling - there was anxiety when you had a sick child (again!) and you had to stay at home with them. It was seen as not professional or productive. We silently knew, and kept it as hidden as possible. It was a big black dot.
Fast forward post COVID lockdowns, and suddenly we see how effective and productive we can be from home. It's not about being in the office - but getting the work done. We have suddenly shifted from "visible time" in the office - to outcomes.
We have suddenly shifted from "visible time" to outcomes.
So what does this mean? It means nothing is going back. We know the myth that "working at home is unproductive" is not true. We also LIKE this blending of work and home. It makes us feel closer to our colleagues, with a better insight into the whole them. We can suddenly understand better who they are, and this creates deeper empathy and trust. We also get back hours each day. This is not to say face to face is not important. Rather it says face to face is not important all the time.
As a summary - the visual below explains what has happened.
That's it in a nutshell. The myth is busted, the benefits are real. It's not just one benefit - but MANY (more to come on this). The way of working has changed forever - and so has how we see each other - we are now whole people. Our identities are forever blended. AMEN!
This is a blog from my whitepaper - "Blended: The new rules for thriving in a post covid world." If you would like a copy, please contact me Rowena@macmorgan.co and I would be delighted to send it to you.