Your colleague’s unscripted toddler appearance mid-Zoom disbands the superfluous workplace formalities
I’d like to believe that one of the good things to come out of COVID is our ability to get a glimpse into the personal lives of our professional colleagues. This is something that will stay with us long after the virus stops wreaking havoc on the world. Videoconferences offer peeks into personal lives that are rarely seen in a traditional office environment, whether meeting with co-workers, adversaries or complete strangers. I have found moments of true joy by seeing people’s pets, kids, art, open closets and kitchen countertops.
My cousin is an attorney. He said recently an esteemed circuit court judge in Southern California asked if the Magic Johnson jersey framed on his home office wall was signed. My cousin said yes and the judge asking about it then proceeded to point it out to his bailiff. Now, yes, sadly the glory days of the Showtime championship teams are long gone, but this is about so much more than sports memorabilia. These are the moments that bond us together. Whether it’s rooting for a common team, reading the same book, or just appreciating what someone else showcases on their walls.
We are more divided as a nation since arguably the Civil War. Isn’t it wonderful to find that all hope is not lost? I don’t have to agree with someone’s politics to appreciate their taste in art. And maybe because of that, I will be slightly more open-minded about other things they believe.
COVID has stripped down some of the ridiculous formality and toxic barriers that permeate in business. The notion of what is “professional” really needs to catch up with the third decade of the 21st century. So a toddler runs through the background on my call, does that make me less qualified to give you legal advice? So my dog barks because Amazon Claus knocked on my door, does that mean I don’t value your business? Of course not. It means I needed a lens cap for my camera and I love animals. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Let’s try to hold on to this. Now go wash your hands and vote for the right team in a couple of months.
David offers vast perspective, insight and expertise into all things marketing and public relations, having worked in technology and entertainment before founding Decibel Blue in 2005. As the agency’s Creative Director, he has since supported clients in everything from health and wellness to food, real estate and lifestyle sectors. When he is not leading his team in Denver, Scottsdale and San Diego, he is running his photography business, Eichlerphotos.com.