Almost Time to Fly
As we slowly and cautiously exit our cocoons as the stay-at-home orders are being lifted, it is interesting to think about how we have adapted both our business and social practices during the last 4 months. We are resilient and responsive. We can pivot and adjust, allowing us to thrive, even in challenging times.
Face time with friends and family has been replaced with Facetime; this has been the hardest challenge for most of us. But there is a silver lining to staying at home. With no commuting due to working from home, there is more opportunity to spend time with family and enjoy home life – time for making bread, family dinners and binge-watching favorite shows together. An evening walk to get exercise can turn into an opportunity to finally meet neighbors you never knew and appreciate gardens that you had only driven by in the past.
Professionally, we are doing many of the same activities we did pre-pandemic, just differently. We are still attending conferences, giving presentations, sharing meals, and attending happy hours – just prefix each with the word virtual.
There is an interesting by-product to the virtual world of video chats and conferences. We are peering into a person’s home and looking into a window of their personal life, a view of a client or co-worker that we never had before. How does seeing someone we know professionally sooth a fussy child, show off a pet or react to an unexpected cameo of a family member in the background affect our interaction with them?
Whether it is a conversation with a client or between co-workers, we are taking the time to talk about life. Perhaps seeing someone at home, in their relaxed environment, promotes conversations to thoughtfully evolve from, “How is your business doing?” to, “How are you doing?” We are sharing fears, challenges, hardships and victories. Our concerns for each other’s wellbeing, as individuals, has become striking.
While we have always felt that our colleagues at Environmental Standards are an extended family, we are connecting more frequently with our extended families and our clients.
On occasional, impromptu, Fridays during the pandemic, as a company, Environmental Standards has a video conference “Happy Hour” with all employees. Our 4:30 p.m. calendar appointment reads, “How u doin’? How we doin’?” We discuss the usual business matters, and recognized birthdays and work anniversaries. The technology of video conferences has enabled us to not just share our home environment, but to have relaxed conversations about our favorite hobbies and our dream vacations. With many regional offices, our video conferences brought everyone together on a consistent basis, something that we did not do prior to the pandemic. It also facilitated a better understanding of the uniqueness of every person.
Environmental Standards is successful because of the excellence in what we do and the priority we put on understanding our clients and building relationships. During the stay-at-home order, we have connected in alternative ways that have resulted in stronger relationships and a better understanding of each other. We look forward to strengthening these relationships further as we each exit our chrysalis and spread out our wings again.