We will never be the same again, but hopefully we might look similar

2020-05-20 | Share this article

There are lots of great ideas and intents being shared around about what a post-COVID world might look like, but I call a little ‘BS’ on a lot of it. Not because I am a cynic or a naysayer – far from it – but because I think we underestimate how much Henry Ford’s nine-to-five working week is ingrained in us.

And herein lies the challenge.

Working from home has been great insofar as it has forced us to rethink, test new ways and be clear on what we do, and be more mindful of what we don’t do.

But that’s just it; it’s a test.

While the opportunity to nest more, exercise better and work on our silo plans has been great, we are a business of humans – and humans need to connect.

As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.

My team at UM Australia has been amazing. Now into Week 10, we have tested new ideas and worked under a conscious strategy of three pillars to success:

A better cadence – one of high frequency and low touch
A better connection – one that checks in as humans versus just ‘getting the work done’
A better culture – with daily activities to keep us on track and in tune. Keeping the ‘happy vibes’ in check, as our head of Culture Club tells me, is crucial – and I agree

We can and have worked well apart. We are a busy, creative media business and, importantly, we have brought our clients along. We have been focused on only the things that we can do, and we have found a new love for Microsoft Teams.

We’ve had dress-ups and virtual drinks, playlists and client interstate brainstorms – and it has all worked well.

But it has been harder.

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