You are probably tired of looking at a computer screen. Especially in a world where we are limited to where we can go and what we can do. The bright screen of our phones and computer has become our new reality, one where we can connect with people all over the world and accomplish tasks we never thought possible. While some of us may long for the feeling of a handshake, the ability to see a smile in person, or to share in each other’s company, this new normal has brought about some changes that have turned out quite positive.
One thing for certain that this pandemic has shown us is the true magnitude and capabilities of the digital platforms out there. That is why I thought it was important to highlight the benefits of virtual meetings and webinars that we never thought possible. Many positive outcomes have come out of this pandemic, and it’s important to recognize how we can adopt this new normal to our current business practices.
Accessibility to people we wouldn’t have met otherwise
There were many times that I got emails about upcoming events and seminars that I would love to attend. However, when l looked at the location and date, disappointment soon consumed my excitement. The training event would be at a location that wasn’t easily accessible to me. Coming from an area that is quite rural, it’s not easy for me to get to these events, along with my work schedule and home life obligations that make it even harder for me.
Recently, a leadership IMPACT training session was held that I got to attend via web and teleconference. I got to interact with people from all over the world, including someone who holds a high level of power within this organization. I know that if this training was held in person, I wouldn’t have had the chance to associate and meet these people because I wouldn’t have been there in person to do so.
This was a surreal experience to work alongside and interact with people at this conference, something I longed to do but couldn’t in years prior. I not only got the chance to learn more about leadership opportunities, but I got to do so with people from all over the world.
Bringing “old-school” companies up to “new-school” ideologies
I totally get and appreciate the old-school mindset that is often held by the Baby Boomers who are still in the workforce. For them, you went to work (at an office) and put in the hours you needed to get the job done. They were the generation of people who lived to work and their job was not just a job, but their hobby. This mindset is even more true for companies who are run by the same Baby Boomers with those “old-school” ideologies.
However, this pandemic has proven the need to move forward and make our work accessible anywhere, at any time. Companies which were more “old-school” really had no choice but to embrace this new age of technology and let people work from their home. This opened up their eyes to many on how much can be done right from your computer, no matter where you are or what time it is.
Going forward, this digital accessibility will help those who are at home with kids who are sick, family, or medical emergencies that put you out of the office, and when you take a sick day where you can rest but still get work done without falling behind. This is a multi-faceted benefit for many companies out there, and this pandemic simply helped push a new ideology along to those who may not have seen the benefits to it otherwise.
Learning the true balance of your work/home life
Being home means that there is a new definition of a home and work-life balance. While working from your “new” office, you may find that your kids may come wandering in to say hello, or that you can balance a conference call while updating your bathroom, or that a workout is just what you need to break up your workday. This can be a good thing, because it can help refocus, rebalance, and reprioritize your work and home life.
You learn how to successfully balance the distractions you have at home while learning to get your work done more effectively. You can set goals that you want to reach for the day, and if you find yourself burnt out from looking at a computer screen, you have more availability to walk away from it while being home. Take advantage of this time and really make the most of being home while still being able to provide for yourself and your family.
Prioritizing what meetings are necessary and which are not
I saw a funny post where someone implied that we will now know which meetings were meaningful and which ones could have easily been an email. Since much of the world is still in tighter restrictions, having meetings that aren’t amounting to anything greater isn’t worth the risk of exposing yourself to potential sicknesses.
While taking care of client needs is still a top priority, as you get back into the swing of things, try to keep that in mind when going forward when it comes to meetings. Think to yourself, “Is that necessary to get everyone in person for this?” “Would this announcement make more sense over an email?” “Should I do this one-on-one versus in a group setting?” Now that you asked the questions while quarantined, what should change you from asking them once back to the normal routine?
Finally giving yourself that home office
Since more people have been working from their home office, they have probably invested more time into their home space and made it their dedicated work environment. Surprisingly, many people have actually said that what they display in the background of their video is noticed by other people. That is why more people have made an effort in updating their workspace to make it more professional and work-ready for them. It’s a great way to get yourself focused on work, while in the comfort of your home.
If this pandemic as taught us anything, it’s to not take for granted the little things in life. Our appreciation for dinner with friends, movie nights, or just hanging out have now become treasured memories that we hope to have once again. So take care, be well, and know that we will get through this one step at a time.