I am the head of an experiential marketing agency, and we create live experiences for people to engage with different companies and products. Because of the pandemic, we have not been able to hold any live experiences, which leaves us in a difficult position. Anything involving face to face interactions have been shut down, all of our in-person events had to be cancelled. What “live” means has changed, so we were compelled to create things where people can go live digitally, as opposed to going live in-person. Even the most experienced leaders in the world haven't ever had to adapt to something as drastic as a worldwide pandemic, so we had to provide more guidance as to what to expect with our digital live experiences. We also needed to tell companies what to expect in the future and how they might change as we start to ease back into that normal way of life.
I was very recently new to my position, and I had to take over a leadership role with 24 other people looking to me for guidance. I had to get up to speak in front of people with more frequency than I ever had in the past, with over two meetings a week purely for the purposes of reassuring people and giving guidance. That was really hard, because even I wasn’t 100% sure what was going to happen.
I am an extrovert, and being isolated has really taken a toll on me. Face to face interactions and socializing play a really important and fulfilling part of my life. During this pandemic, I’ve had the company of my family, but nonetheless, I think a lot of people are suffering right now from that feeling of isolation.
The experiences during the pandemic have brought on a lot of talk about finding a healthy balance between work and life. In the past, “bosses” (for lack of a better term) have not been as open to allowing people to work from home. I think that came from a place of not fully trusting people to be able to achieve the same level of work from their homes, but this situation has created a lot more independence and trust between employers and employees. The coronavirus pandemic has completely redefined work culture, and I think being at work physically may not be as significant in the future due to the technology we’ve now been exposed to. There will be a greater value for the perfunctory interactions that we may have taken for granted in the past, which will hopefully bring a lot of sincerity and appreciation back into the workplace.
Written by: Siobhan Kelley