Of working remotely?
A little over a month ago I was coming to the end of my 3rd week in a new role in a new office.
The Old Normal
I was the new guy. Commuting to and from the office getting used to new systems and readjusting to the office environment.
For the previous year I’d been an on-site guy and before that a combination of site and admin work as I preferred to call it. To be fair it was during my 2017-2018 seasons operating in the Hamptons that I discovered, learned & refined a lot of the systems I use today, in my “New Normal.”
Each day a commute to the office to a shared room where we could work independently on our tasks, chat & drink coffee. Share the white boards and make plans for the coming season of projects.
I started at the end of February. 3 weeks into the job and coronavirus was taking hold and we were rapidly heading towards a lock-down or at least restricted movement scenario.
We decided 12th March to start thinking about remote working. Friday 13th March at midday we had our first attempt at a Webex call.
What is The New Normal?
Q5 (related to Q4) When we begin to transition into the new ‘normal’ whatever that is, once #COVID19 is through, what do you want to take with you from this strange time? #pmchat— Dr Penny Pullan (@PennyPullan) April 21, 2020
Bonus marks if it has anything to do with creativity and/or collaboration!
For me it looks like the paradigm shift that occurred as a result of lock-down, that led to our office being relocated to wherever our individual homes are has led to a dramatic unfettering of creativity.
When we are accustomed to a ‘way’. Conditioned to think in terms of the 4 walls that surround us. Conditioned to think in terms of the restraints of the office environment. Then that is all we will do.
If you remove the constraints of the office you empower people to think differently and accept all possibilities.
If you consider until I pulled the trigger on that Friday afternoon before St. Patrick’s Weekend installing Webex on all the devices of our (perplexed) management team the concept of remote working was alien.
Now we collaborate on Webex, ClickUp, Smartsheet, Slack, Whatsapp, Mindmeister and a host of other apps and collaborative cloud software. Even the most technophobic of us is discovering new things and bringing it to the table. With time we will roll back to a core suite of apps, but for now, allowing the creativity and adoption flow.
What have we achieved?
The first response was a new website to rethink the purposing of our available staff & infrastructure – the initial 2 page site of eventcentre-er.com was my doing as a seed to show what we could be developing.
Using our remote collaboration tools we went on to redesign and relaunch eventcentre.ie.
Part of this redesign was the realisation that we need a rethink of our communal contact point – that this contact point no longer needed to be a physical landline phone system in an office was like an epiphany.
We have managed to prove by not being in our office, that we don’t need an office. As a result the creativity and innovative thinking has gone through the roof. Literally & virtually.
A5. The big thing we’ve proven in our office is we don’t need an office.— Seán (@runningmatters_) April 21, 2020
Unchaining ourselves from that has allowed creativity to explode. It has shown that the ‘norm’ no longer applies and fosters a ‘we can’ attitude.
Bringing it all forwards with us now!! 😀 #panchayat
Where are we going?
The fact that we are now capable of remotely collaborating BETTER and more efficiently than when we shared an office shows, for this Project Management team at least, where we need to focus our attention for the future.
We have attained more focus on creativity & productivity by removing the focus on our working environment. We’ll build on that for the next phase.
How about you?
What has changed in your approach to work during this pandemic lock-down? Love to hear form you in the comments.