Back in March our world was flipped upside down due to the pandemic. Going to work, to the office, was no longer the norm; seeing your coworkers in person was something that we couldn’t do – in our life, unprecedented times.
Now, I have to be honest, I have grown accustomed to this new normal – once the person to always go out and be the social butterfly, I have grown accustomed to working at home, seeing just my roommates (my brother and his girlfriend), and not going out. Do I like it? I have grown to like it – but will I go back to being that social butterfly that was always out – I think so.
But enough about my personal life, we will switch gears to the PR and professional world – when the pandemic does ‘end’ some things we will keep, while some things will change, or maybe even go back to the way they used to be.
Constant communication – We have been forced out of our offices, a place where we were constantly talking to one another, and into our own homes, where we can’t just turn and talk to our colleagues. But this has pushed us to be in constant communication with our teammates. Emailing to let people know the status of something, hopping on calls to talk things out, or leverage instant message tools. I think this is setting us up to keep up that constant communication, beyond what we regularly did. Moving beyond work, we stay in touch with our teams to just check on their mental health, which is extremely important.
Our love (or hate) for our job – This goes beyond PR, but people are really finding out whether they enjoy what they do. You don’t have that usual fun office banter and coworkers always around. A lot of what you do revolves around our work and so we are finding out if we are truly in the right profession, or if it is time for us to look to do something else. We have extra time now to think about it as well. We aren’t going from work to social events. We go to work and then home, and then work (this may be up and down stairs), so this is the true test of our love for what we actually do, and if you’re like me, you have kept it.
We won’t be stuck at home…..all the time – I know I discussed being able to discuss things at the office, and this may seem straightforward, but we won’t have to be home all the time. But we also will have a little bit more freedom when we have to go into the office. We have now proven we can work in the office and from home, effectively, so we won’t be forced to go into the office all the time, although, going back will be beneficial for our communication, especially in the PR field. To be in the office, at least a couple of days a week, and work directly with your team will have a semblance to what it used to be – so, same-same, but different.
The need to travel for meetings and phone meetings – The fun of traveling for in-person meetings is great, at least for me – going somewhere else, potentially staying at a hotel, eating out…it’s all fun. But, the number of those trips will decrease significantly. We have learned that we can now have these meetings via video conference, and still be effective. By not going on these trips as frequently, it will save companies money, while still maintaining the connection with our clients. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like a face-to-face meeting, it leads to a much stronger connection, but the phone meeting will most likely slowly decline, while the number of times you will need to travel for a work meeting – I hate to say it – will decrease.
Whether these things happen are yet to be seen. But we’ll hopefully find out in the upcoming months (fingers crossed).
Kevin Behar is a Senior Consultant at APEX PR.
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