Work is changing; this I know for sure.
Are you like me and find it hard to stay engaged in every one of your work day conference calls? Anyone else dialing in and then forcing yourself not to move on to something else; although you think you're highly proficient at multi-tasking? How about getting dressed and ready for the day knowing you’ll be on camera at some point or do you hang out in sweats and pj's until the very last moment you need to be present? Do you ever ask yourself "am I fully engaged" as you reflect after a day full of scheduled virtual interactions?
Ever wonder when we are going to go back to real live face to face meetings?
These are all things I am struggling with at this point in our current "Covid Crisis" and am desperate to brainstorm a better way to meet. But really; I’m so over Zoom and the constant Microsoft Teams virtual meeting as my main way of interacting with people. When this is all over, I know I won't miss the generic silhouette of my fellow guests who don’t turn on their camera. How great will it be when we don’t have to constantly say “I think you are on mute” or “we can’t hear you, you’re breaking up” multiple times a day. Additionally, I'm really ready to be able to carve time out to actually do my work instead of attending back to back conference calls. I want to return to walking into a room where there are other people and feeling the energy of the ideas being tossed around in the space. Honestly, my engagement and active participation in my current virtual meetings isn't nearly as bad as it probably feels - but as a social high performance personality I feel less than thrilled about my connectivity these days.
What a strange work world 2020 has designed for us!
Since I tend to build rainbows and sunshine out of all situations, I know there are positive aspects to 2020 and so many things to be grateful for throughout this pandemic. So, I don’t want to throw the whole year out as if it was a constant blur of discontent; however when it comes to work dynamics -- I'm definitely going to need more personal connection in 2021.
For example, on a positive note, what this year has brought to me is a new appreciation for getting dressed and traveling to meetings, an anticipation of returning to consuming sub-par office coffee and snacks during the time together, a deep desire to listening intently to peoples ideas while brainstorming with dry erase tools, along with a whole new list of reasons to get out of my home office. Don't get me wrong, the meetings I currently attend virtually are very important to my work and passions; they are well conducted, very effective, and are the best scenarios given our current work environment restrictions. However, I desperately want to return to the office dynamic where you can meet physically in a space...together.
Anyone else with me? I feel like I might not be alone in this...
So, I've decided to use this experience and grow from it. I'm setting out to change my attitude and elevate my appreciation for meeting engagements I may have taken for granted pre-2020. My goals in 2021 include; to have gratitude towards every in-person mundane PowerPoint presentation, to always actively participate when facilitators ask for volunteers and raise my hand first as dialogue starters, to honor the preparation of in person meetings by completing all pre-work and passionately review agendas with anticipation of making the most of the time together. And so on...
The point is; when the offices open up I'll be the first to walk in and (safely) sit in a space taking in the buzz of business and excitement of new ideas. I will keep my distance, but join my teammates in active discussions and encourage everyone so they know how much I enjoy their company. I may even set a virtual meeting just for old time sake - solely to appreciate and remember how nice it is to be together.
I say its time to return to the office - but until that happens, you can reach me on my computer in between Microsoft Teams calls.