Will We Ever Wear Real Pants Again?
As a solopreneur, I've long been accustomed to baseline professional loneliness, pathetic popcorn lunches, and apologizing for the audible dog barking during conference calls. In many ways, the past 10 days have been a lot like most other work weeks. But now that the whole world is in playing in the work from home sandbox I have felt a collective acceptance, of all things good and bad, that this way of working entails. And that makes me wonder if the pendulum will ever swing all the way back the other way, even once we're on the sunny side of these dark days.
Companies across the world are 'making it work' in ways they previously deemed impossible. We're fighting the biggest impediment to remote working -- inertia -- in ways big and small. We previously thought we needed to pass along hard copies of projects with markups & edits, or that we needed to be physically assembled to have an effective creative brainstorm, or that we couldn't wear pajamas and be productive.
At the end of all of this, whenever that may be, will we decide that upside of not getting ready for work, not commuting to work, and sneaking in a load of laundry during an afternoon break, is worth a bit of clumsily speaking over each other on Zoom, or relearning some shortcut keys to work in Google sheets instead of Excel? Will we see that the work can still be as good?
Whether or not the workforce en masse ever returns to Cubicleland, I hope that we can always carry the reminder that everyday we're doing things we previously thought we couldn't. And I hope that forced innovation spills into the ways in which we approach solutions for our customers and for our communities at large. Because it looks like we're going to need it.