You’ve Changed. Has Your Employer?

This past year has been one to remember. It’s disrupted lives and changed the world in many ways. Whether you have been cautious or fearless, scared or angry, the pandemic has changed you and the world. There’s an interesting read at Fast Company about life during the pandemic and how life has been turbulent from one point of view. 

While I related to some of what the author wrote, I didn’t relate to a lot of it. I also know I’ve been lucky, and relatively lightly affected by this pandemic. I’ve published, and needed, coping tips at times, but I’ve been able to live my life, get outside, still coach youth, still visit some restaurants and take some limited vacations. I’ve looked back periodically, recording how I feel about life. I’ve changed, and I’ve struggled, but I’ve also been able to do things and I didn’t have the lockdown, and the limited life that some tech pros had, and I certainly didn’t have the struggles with security and finances that many less privileged dealt with.

I’ve also had a great company that recognized issues last February and started preparing us, even before the UK went into a lockdown. While I haven’t visited with fellow employees in person, we’ve adapted and continued with some level of success for over a year. We hire and onboard people, software is getting written and sold, and business moves on, in many ways a reasonable facsimile of what we did in 2019.

We’ve also changed. Remote offices have closed. A limited, experimental opening has few people actually taking advantage of going to work in a group. We’ve adopted and abandoned some of the early coping meetings and are looking for new ones. We’ve promised people they can move away from a city with an office, though remain within a reasonable travel time, for the rest of the year. All to provide some stability and allow employees to make concrete future plans for more than the next few months.

We are experimenting with remote first, which is an attempt to adapt for the future to a distributed workforce, including our annual reteaming. I suspect trips to the office for many, including me, will be rarely scheduled, and used more for team building and brainstorming, with less tactical, let’s do something for today, work. I’m hoping we still do get together, but time will tell.

I wonder how many of you will see your work change. We’re the privileged group, working in a field where we can accomplish tasks without physical interaction, but one where many of us might find that we do crave some sort of social touch. Maybe the world has changed it, and maybe it’s changed some interactions, but I also suspect some companies are looking forward to returning to the world as it was in 2019.

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