A recent Bloomberg article talked about how companies are finding it difficult to return to pre-covid Work From Office (WFO) norms. The crunching of Google mobility data is showing that key business centres such as London, New York, and San Francisco are still 50% off of their "normal" (pre-Covid) workflows.
"The journey back to your desk is shaping up to be slow and indirect. Roughly 15 months after locking down to ward off Covid-19, several of the globe’s key financial centers are struggling to get employees back to their offices."
Workers and bosses are, by now, well-aware of the pros and cons of being able to Work From Home (WFH). Our current "living with Covid" era is putting pressure on CFOs and CEOs to cut office space (a notion that's popular when considering the company's bottom line). On the flip-side, it's making HR teams work overtime to figure out how to keep teams mentally healthy and productive when they can go for weeks and months without seeing someone from the company in real life (IRL).
Though cities like Hong Kong and Frankfurt are getting close to "normal" (pre-Covid) workplace activity, the reality is that virtual connectivity is here to stay. Meeting online with people in your own city and with those across the country or the world will never go away. I believe that we should be glad that this trend and this tech are both here to stay.
While many of us pine for some watercooler talk and a staff birthday party in the office pantry (human contact is definitely a good thing), we've all seen the time, effort, and money-saving benefits of being able to conduct business and personal meetings on virtual platforms such as Zoom, Teams, WebEx, Meets, and others.
In my pre-Covid executive coaching days, I would think nothing of getting the 7:30am flight to Kuala Lumpur, from my home in Singapore. Then put in a full day with a client and catch the 8:00pm flight back to Singapore at the end of the same day. A good five to six hours of that 12 hour day was wasted on transit. Not to mention the financial cost and my carbon footprint. To be honest, I was really tired the next morning and lost a half-day of productivity. A well-structured virtual coaching session can, in most cases, be just as effective and save time, money, and the planet. It can also be changed with far less pain than in-person meetings.
During a virtual coaching session this week, a CEO client of mine sitting 9000 miles away was able to master his presentation skills and messages for a series of important, upcoming interviews. The only thing we had to consider in organizing the session, was our 12-hour time difference.
We will, at some point, be back to more IRL team and client meetings; that's a good thing. But our online world is here to stay. That, too, is a good thing. High-performing executives need to continue the work of being rock-solid when it comes to being effective, memorable communicators in our virtual world.
If you're interested in being the best that you can be in your virtual presentations CLICK HERE to book a 15-minute, no-cost, no-spam call where I'll be happy to give you three tips on how to be great online.