PC (pre-COVID), my diary really only consisted of face-to-face meetings. We didn’t tend to schedule calls and emails were just sent as and when.
Now, after the world had to change how it communicated, without face-to-face meetings, without office working, I’ve noticed the following changes to my own ways of communicating:
- We tend to schedule everything, even calls
- Our first port of call is normally Zoom or Teams, which means we have video
- Because we are scheduling, our meetings tend to be shorter
- I’ve made much better use of WhatsApp with clients
- On-boarding new clients hasn’t been as hard as I thought
- I’ve only used my laptop once since lockdown
- I’m happy people get to see my office environment as I have worked from home for two years now
- I’ve started to think of how visually presenting something is more important – for example a plain document to welcome a new client could be much better presented in a welcome pack
- Although Zoom virtual backgrounds are fun, they are actually annoying and not great for concentration
- I’ve started to use pen and paper far more than before – I’ve always been a fan
In addition, I also think my work has been more productive – less ‘busy’ and more output driven.
From others I have spoken to, some challenges they have faced are mostly around leadership. Leaders who haven’t necessarily be present, sometimes who haven’t trusted staff to be productive and I’ve also noticed that brand culture has played a bigger role.
One of my clients has demonstrated the most positive kind of leadership I’ve seen. She has trusted her staff to get on with their jobs, she’s created regular opportunities for check-ins to ensure they are okay (including weekly updates from her), she’s created opportunities to collaborate with industry, looking to the future, she’s planned ahead and has robust plans in place for relaunching the business and her general leadership style has meant people have had the opportunity to build really positive relationships with her.
I think we’ve reached a stage now where Zoom is still useful, but not the go-to, FaceTime with families will continue but now we can see each other, it’s just a benefit, WhatsApp and email trends will continue, but as lockdown continues to ease, we will crave human connection less, as we’ll be more in touch face-to-face.
The hybrid way of working, from home and in the office, is still to take off. Many are still choosing to work from home. Teams has been a god-send for some organisations.
What about the future? Following a podcast I recorded yesterday, I’ll be following up this post with another on futuristic thinking…