Maeve O'Sullivan, Founder, MOScomms Marketing & PR, former Senior Communications Manager, D&AD, London
And, just like that, my largely long distance working life has switched from the novelty to the norm. I’m used to being a face on a laptop at meetings, looking across a table at a few, usually backlit, people. I hear the voices of other people out of view. The sound quality varies. It sometimes can be hard to chip in, but eventually you develop a flow and learn to be patient and make sure your voice is heard. Today, I had a regular catch up call with a client team. We were all on screen and I got to see everyone’s faces - bonus.
Beyond video conferencing, we’re figuring out all kinds ways of getting things done and opening our minds to how we’ll manage the unknowns ahead of us. Amidst the fear and uncertainty (of which there is a lot understandably), I’m sensing a low level, giddy kind of excitement from many people I am talking to. Like, suddenly, we’re realising we CAN think differently about how we approach what we do. Like, all that thinking that gets pitched to clients (“disrupt”, “transform”, you know the score), all that thinking can be applied to the way we work ourselves - because let’s be honest, for many, how we work hasn’t changed much.
Despite all the technology at our disposal, too many companies have continued to insist on seeing their teams sitting in offices, as if that meant the job was being done. And many of us are guilty of sticking to old ways of doing things because, well, that's how we always did it. We’re the lucky ones, and most of us seem to appreciate that, because we can keep going with a version of what we do with a computer and a wifi connection. Those bosses who needed to see bums on seats will have to trust their teams to get the job done, individuals will be accountable for what they deliver, and what we come up with will have to pretty exceptional to get us through this period.
We’ve got a tough few weeks ahead but it’ll be full of new experiences too. I’m looking forward to seeing what new habits stick, and maybe I’ll join an online choir or finally take up (solo) running.