We’ve seen unprecedented changes to every area of our lives over the last month. Self-isolation has forced us to find new ways to achieve the same goals, but with the added barrier of not being able to leave our homes.
Our Business Relationship Manager, Matt Lewis, debates whether people will be keen to adjust to the ‘new normal’ permanently...
What has this new normal impacted?
Well, pretty much everything. The most obvious example for most of us is our working lives. Remote working is the new norm and comes more easily to some than others. We saw this with most of the big tech and digital agencies. Weeks before it was mandated to work remotely, they had already sent workforces of thousands home with the ease of flicking a switch.
I’ve personally had the privilege of working for a real mixture of companies; some in favour of and activity encouraging remote working, others not so much and preferring a physical presence of employees.
We are embracing the largest ever test for remote working. And what have we seen? Well, society has been quick to adapt and adopt the necessary technology to do our jobs as efficiently at home. Meetings, catch-ups, one-to-ones, even global conferences – usually attended by thousands of people – have all been moved online. Of course, you can’t get exactly the same experience as being present in person – there are some things technology just can’t replicate (yet!). But is that outweighed by the cost and effort of travel? Debatable. For me, and the majority of people I speak to, it probably isn’t...
It has recently been announced that air pollution levels in the UK have dropped significantly in the three weeks since the country went into lockdown. With the obvious positive effect on the environment, the savings we make on travel fairs, and the time saved, it’s going to be harder and harder to justify the travel and having “a physical presence” going forward. We also need to consider that as we continue our technologic evolution and with the rise of VR and AR, and the lines between physical presence and digital presence will become even more of a blur.
We aren’t robots.
There’s more to a job than completing tasks and attending business meetings. What about team spirit, lunches, gossiping, building relationships with co-workers, and for me, playing Table Tennis?
We’re social creatures – and as humans, we crave social interaction. We’ve been quick to try and take measures to address this – video call beers, virtual pub quizzes and social challenges are now a common topic. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that has not only embraced these measures but is actively encouraging them across the board. It helps – but our desire to really connect continues and grows stronger with each passing day.
For now, we have no choice to accept this new way of life. It’ll have a dramatic impact on how we live and find a new normal. As a society and workforce, in this relatively short period – we have already proved we can overcome the need to do business in person, but as humans we can’t.
More importantly, we don’t want to overcome the need to interact.
We find ourselves in unexplored territory and as we continue down this untrodden path, we can’t be sure how it will affect our lives once this pandemic comes to a close. It’s likely we’ll be offered more freedom to work where we choose, but the real question is, will we want it?
What do you think? Drop me an email with your thoughts and I’d be happy to chat further; email@example.com.