Making lemonade when life gives you lemons

Article3 mins12 May 2020By Six Ideas by Dexus

At first it was a shock…. shut out of the office and forced to work from home, and for many of us for the first time. But now that we have got over that shock, what have we learned? Is it possible to love the lockdown?

Did you know...

In 1665, while the bubonic plague
was raging in London, a 22-year old
Isaac Newton (working in isolation)
discovered and wrote the
universal law of gravity?

Now that's making lemonade!

Now perhaps we might not be that clever but here are 10 things from the team at Six Ideas by Dexus that perhaps we should be thinking about.

1. Getting really good at running meetings over video conferencing

If we have had to learn anything during our time working remotely it has been coming to terms with connecting with the world through video conferencing.

And a really key part of that has been running meetings and discovering all the things we take for granted in the physical world, like contributing to a conversation without talking over other people, and avoiding protracted silences while everyone waits for someone else to speak, or ensuring that one person doesn’t take over the whole thing.

2. Sorting the mess in the cloud

We all know the person on your team who knows where to find files in the “cloud thingy”.

Well, in future that will be all of us! One of the great things about the documents in the cloud is that you can access them from any device, anywhere as long as you have internet connection.

Furthermore, you can work on documents with colleagues – no more emailing back and forth with version control nightmares. But the challenge is making sure that everyone agrees how the documents are set up and stored so they can be easily found.

So now is a great opportunity for us all to get our digital filing cabinets in order.

3. Getting to know your colleagues better

There are many things we take for granted in the physical workplace and sometimes team mates are in that category. But in the virtual world when we are connecting with them by video conference all sorts of interesting things emerge in the background – homes, children, pets, even books and knick knacks on the shelves behind the desk.

How great will it be to keep this new sense of connection going when we begin to venture back to the office?

4. Supercharging team culture

Now that we’re apart and experiencing a shared challenge, it seems everyone is putting more effort into making sure we’re all connected and supported.

This is a real opportunity to come together as a team that goes way beyond a nod across a desk or a chat in the tea room.

Knowing colleagues better is a start – the opportunity is to go beyond that and really focus on how to work together.

5. More visible leadership

Who would have thought that being away from the office would provide opportunities to get to know our leaders better?

We’re actually benefiting from greater transparency and connectivity to those steering the ship.

Virtual “town halls” with Q&A sessions can be brilliant and getting hundreds of people together virtually can be so much easier (and cheaper!) than doing it face to face. Some of us have even seen our CEO online in a t-shirt!

Here’s hoping this becomes the status-quo.

6. Teams previously split by distance now feel closer

Who would have thought that being physically separated would bring people closer together?

But how many times have you sat in a meeting room with people dialling in and being completely ignored or forgotten?

Now with everyone videoconferencing we have a level playing-field. And we’ve been hearing stories from clients where teams previously split over multiple locations feel “more like one team than before” now everybody is in the same boat.

7. Facetime more, call less?

Telephone is so last century!

After getting used to multiple VCs in a day, doesn’t calling with just audio feel like an oddly limited experience? Let’s hope we see video become the norm over old-school audio calls – it’s so much better to see the people we are talking to, provided of course that they haven’t turned their video off so you can’t see that they’re not really paying attention and are doing something else! Hmmm.

8. Seeing our future work-life with more (or less) flexible working?

Many of us have had time to reflect: when we’re allowed out again, what would it be like to work a bit more flexibly even when we are back in the office? Would that work?

We’ll never replace the office but hey… working remotely from time to time… would that be so bad? So how do we make that work with our leaders and team mates?

9. No agenda... no atten-da!

We’ve all been to meetings where you wonder: “what are we all doing here?” But the interesting thing is in video conference meetings you can turn off the video and tune out in a way that would be a little awkward in real life… as in get up and walk out of the meeting!

So here’s an opportunity to use this time to practice meetings with clear purpose. And if you are tempted to turn the video off and do something else whilst pretending to be participating… hmmm!

10. Cutting down less trees

Ever notice how much less we print when WFH compared to when we are in the office? And what about all those paper files in the office that we can’t live without… maybe we can?

Now’s the time to think hard about the stuff on paper we really need.

Huzzah for less paper!

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