3 minutes read
Obviously, I’m referring to that downright bonkers period from March to July when COVID-19 forced us non-essential types to work from home, sent our children back to learn from home and we all discovered the Joy of S…kype. And Zoom. And Teams. And FaceTime.
What pre-March was a novelty (FaceTime? How fun!), a curiosity (She’s sent me something called a Zoom invite – does anyone know what that is?) or an inconvenience (Ugh – another app to download) became the norm.
With a small house, two children “studying” at home, a hyperactive dog thrilled to have playmates 24/7 and a full roster of clients needing vital and urgent attention, I naturally took to bed.
Against the backdrop of a neutral wall hung with tasteful prints, flanked by soft lighting from bedside reading lamps and separated from the tumult and turmoil outside by a lockable door, I shuffled between video conferencing platforms and got to work.
From my bed, I held court with CEOs and high-level executives, I crafted complex communications strategies, I brainstormed strategies and offered advice, I interviewed major players and was interviewed by the media myself.
And while my colleagues and clients all flexed their posh home offices, Insta-worthy interiors and lush courtyard gardens, I was surreptitiously trying to smush down a pillow fort so my doona stayed off-camera.
Video conferencing was fun in theory: seeing your colleagues and clients in real-life without the risk of unwittingly contracting or transmitting a grandparent-killing virus.
In practice, those first few Zoom calls were like everything else attempted in the privacy of your bedroom for the first time: awkward, fumbling and inducing mild anxiety about unflattering angles and the expression on your face.
I’m glad I put in the effort and perfected my technique because a global study suggests this new way of getting down to business is here to stay.
A survey of 1200 international businesses (including more than 200 from Australia) found:
- 76 per cent said they learned a lot during the crisis and will permanently change the way they operate.
- 77 per cent said remote working was successful and will likely continue after the crisis ends.
- 79 per cent said the crisis taught them to be more empathetic.
My favourite finding, however, is this one:
- 70 per cent said they learned more about their customers during the crisis than they did the previous two years combined. Clearly the result of peeking into bedrooms – even virtually.