In an email from one of the global leaders in the company, they talked about the fact that beyond COVID-19 we will likely adopt a more flexible way of working. It encouraged us to reflect on what works in the current setup and which practices we should keep up in future. So my musings below…
There are things I miss while not going in to the office. Having my colleagues around for a bit of banter and coffee machine chats. Asking a question by turning to the person next to you in stead of having to send an instant message or a phone call. I miss the energy of a collaborative discussion where ideas grow from each other. I miss comments from the peanut gallery. Also I really do get exhausted from having conference call after conference call.
There are things that work well, however. I think a lot of senseless meetings are now resolved with an email or a phone call. I find that there are less incidental interruptions and when I want to work on something specific, I can block out time and get stuff done. I enjoy taking mini breaks in between the meetings, taking a stretch or playing a couple of chords on my guitar. I enjoy the time saved from not commuting and having more time for walks or runs or going on a bike ride.
Something that has really improved is having a daily coffee with my colleagues. I cannot always make it, of course, but in some ways I feel like I know more about people now than before, from work related stuff to what they like to watch on Netflix and what they do on the weekends. Perhaps this is more meaningful to me because I was based full time on projects for the last two years and change, and I wish I had this type of opportunity earlier. Interacting with people regularly while everyone works from home, does tend to make persons a bit more “real.” Along with the faces and the “business persona”, you get to see a bit of their home life, their partners, children, pets, the stuff in their backgrounds. Something I like in work as well as private life is that more people take the time to call and talk.
Some days I feel like although we are all in isolation, we are more connected now than a few months ago. I hope we do not lose that.
Be kind. Stay safe.