The new normal? - Alistair Eagles

July 22, 2020 - 12:00pm

The new normal? - Alistair Eagles

On Monday I turned 50.  Of course, there is nothing remarkable about that, lots of people turn 50 every day and live to tell the tale. However, for me the day was always something we had talked about as a family, as I share my birthday with my daughter who turned 18 on the exact same day. 

Over the years we had always talked about the big 50th and 18th party in 2020, we had thought what we would do, who we would invite, and we had even booked a short holiday to round off the joint celebrations. Little did we know our best laid plans would be well and truly dashed.

So, our big day turned into a long 3-day weekend of friends and family popping round to the garden at different times for a chat up a coffee some cake and maybe an odd glass of something else if the mood took us. There were no hugs, no kisses but plenty of laughs and a surprising amount of proper conversations. I loved it and had to admit that I was never actually a fan of the big party idea anyway.  Spending quality time with people and having real conversation rather than just a passing few words in a big group was brilliant and made me think about work.

In the myriad of large Zoom and Teams with the usual patchwork quilt of faces staring back at you are we missing something? I am a massive fan of the new way of working but are we missing those chats by the coffee machine, a 5 minute one to one in the office, or that face to face connectivity in the same room with customers?

As we consider what work looks like in the future, we need to ensure that proper one to one conversations do not fall by the wayside. In the world of multi-person video conferencing it is often those with the best ideas that find it hardest to speak up.

Anyway, got to dash, I’m off to work out what type of mid-life crisis I should have!