When the announcements of lockdowns and work-from-home came at the onset of COVID-19 everybody was semi-paralysed, “What now, how will we carry on?”. “How will we keep on serving our clients?” “How will we meet and collaborate?”
A sudden wave of online meeting bloopers and memes – the world valued the role of technology differently – most of us could carry on working. Many of us had to balance online education for the kids with online working for our companies and businesses.
We learned how to embrace online meetings as well as online social gatherings, a technology that has been around for a long time. We enjoyed the pajama bottom with a snazzy work shirt, the office was just across the hall or down the stairs or in a corner of the living room. This was simply fabulous at first, you got an extra hour to sleep or finally exercise, more time with the kids…
Then came the mental health distress, employees working longer hours, productivity and efficiency being challenged, the always-on laptop / PC / tablet. The constant chat pings, “Are you quickly available?”, “Can we quickly chat?”, “Can I give you a call?” Sheer exhaustion kicked in, employees and employers paralysed by the lack of true human contact, restricted adult conversations, no more on-the-spot brainstorm with whiteboarding (not the technology kind).
The last year and a half have really challenged what we perceived as our daily ‘normal’ home and work routine.
Now, suddenly we face the next wave, The Return To The Office: “What should I wear? I am sure pajama bottoms and slippers are not appropriate…”, “Do I still fit in my clothes?”, “Oh dear, look. I will have to trim my ear hair!” Setting up of meetings – virtual or in-person – what protocol do I follow – do I ask – do I assume – do you prefer to continue meeting virtually or would you also like to sit across from me with a cuppa – THE ROBOTS HAVE TAKEN OVER, RUN!
The time is now, to reflect, take the learnings and strike a balance. How to continue the benefit brought on by technology to lead fulfilling and healthy lives. Have more time. Be there when it counts. Contribute to growth and success. Make a difference. Most of all reset your work-life balance.
As a leader and champion of brilliant technology, I am grateful for the insights I get from Microsoft VIVA to help the Salt team successfully embrace their new journey in work and life.
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