Mind Your Business

Date: 28 April, 2020

Honesty in a Socially Distant world.

James Moore

By James Moore

Business Director

Remember this Guy?

Remember his insatiably inquisitive kids? Or his not-so-stealthy wife trying to reign them in? Or his utter professionalism in the midst of domestic chaos?

Hilarious, right?

Maybe then…

But fast forward three years, it seems prophetic.

That few seconds of unfiltered reality told us more about him than a thousand interviews ever could have. We got to see what type of person he was when his work-life and home-life collided. And it was glorious!

We are all this man now.

The way we communicate has suddenly profoundly changed as we’ve quickly adapted to a world that was unthinkable only months ago. I don’t know if it will ever go back to how it was. Or if we even want it to.

Every day I’m continually impressed by the way our people and our clients have dealt with these shifting sands. It proves how adept we all are at handling change – especially when we don’t have a choice in the matter.

There’s no doubt we’ve lost a lot in terms of genuine human contact in our workplaces. But I would argue there’s been some positive side effects.

Cast your mind back to a simpler, non-pandemic time. While we may have been sitting right next to each other, we were still self-isolating behind walls of emails, text, WhatsApp messages, phone calls, and meeting after meeting after meeting.

From such a close perspective, we could only make out one side of our colleagues – their 9-5 self. But somehow, by being physically distanced, we’ve been granted a glimpse into something more.

Now, virtually face-to-face with our colleagues, we’re seeing each other as we really are, in our natural habitats. I, for one, think it’s been brilliant.

Why? Because we’re suddenly having to be more honest with each other. It’s making relationships stronger.  I feel like I can understand and empathise with those around me in a new way. We’re attuned to each other in ways we weren’t before.

Every engagement means so much more right now. Our conversations are more authentic and meaningful. We’re more action orientated. We’re dispensing with the formality of office norms and getting to the point faster and more collaboratively. I can also honestly say that my relationships with clients are now stronger for it.

I’m even getting more comfortable with my own work-life and home-life being mashed together. In January, I’d never considered being on a video call from home with my 14-month-old on my lap. Now? If he cries, he cries!

We might not have it totally cracked yet, but I believe that in the last six weeks, we’ve formed stronger bonds, which will lead to more trust, more engagement and more work to be proud of.

When we’re all back buying our coffee as opposed to making it, let’s try and carry some of these side effects over.

And let’s never again underestimate the ability of a toddler walking into frame and changing our perspectives.