This past year was something, huh? We’ve all endured changes that we never thought we’d endure. Complications and sudden interruptions were at the forefront of, well everything. The world and our lives changed in less than an evening. We were hit from both sides, work as well as family. The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel was pulverized or at least that’s how it felt.
So, what did we do?
We adapted, overcame, persevered and pushed through against some pretty crappy odds. We asked for help and provided help. We stood together to spread hope and compassion. We saw a myriad of challenges and hit ALL of them head on, as hard as we could, even when we didn’t think we had anything left.
Now that 2020 is over, we have a chance to sit back and remind ourselves of the positives that came out of this past year. I know it’s hard and that’s understandable, but in my mind, focusing on the positives is healing.
2020 is going to be remembered as the year of video chat burnout. Endless Zoom, Teams and Webex meetings that completely took over what used to be handshakes, conference rooms and coffee shops. Most of us sat down every morning at our desks or dining room tables, shorts on the bottom, shirt and tie on the top. Stop, you know you did it! We logged into a video conferencing platform and got ready to hold all of our meetings remotely.
Meetings before Covid were what they were, agendas, white boards, spreadsheets and timelines. You went in, did your business and left. Rinse. Repeat.
But something changed.
We were forced to adjust to a complete remote working environment, in our homes….. with our families and pets and things that had nothing to do with “work” per se. People on the other end of the video were able to get a view into our lives in a way that was new. What some might have thought was invading before is now the “new norm”.
We had the chance to see PEOPLE instead of co-workers or employees. We’ve gotten to know people in a much deeper way. We’ve grown to appreciate people in a much deeper way. How many times did a child run into a video meeting and interrupt, but then that child stayed on the parents lap and was now part of that meeting? The meeting was paused for 10 minutes so everyone could talk to the child and make the child's (and the parent's) day. How many times did you see something in the background in someone's house that sparked a conversation that would have NEVER happened in an office setting, leading to two people getting to know each other better, work together better?
How many times have you stayed on a video chat longer just to chat with others because you missed seeing people?
Slowly, meetings became more human. Our lives were on display which allowed people to just be people and talk. Not about work, like meetings have always been, but about life and family and goals and struggles. We found ourselves helping more and being there for people more, without even realizing it.