A feeling of strangeness and isolation wouldn’t be unique over the past couple of months. And I wouldn’t be alone in adapting to the ever-changing circumstances we face as a result of Covid-19 and its impact on our world. To say our mutual sense of normality is changing is a huge understatement.
Many have seen their world turned on its head, lost income, jobs and the lives of their loved ones. I am not comparing my recent experiences to any of those kinds of hardships, but what I can say is that I’ve had some odd and utterly unexpected experiences over the past two months.
For in this time I’ve not only left my homeland of Sweden to take up a new role with the good folks of Taxi Studio in the UK, but I’m writing this from the small-but-perfectly formed writer’s cabin overlooking the lake I thought I said goodbye to in March.
Yes, it was the shortest-lived induction to IRL faces of new colleagues you could imagine. But thanks to the tireless efforts and compassion of those around me, I’m thriving in my new role.
It wasn’t like I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I sure had a hunch. I had by chance met folks from Taxi Studio some years earlier at an agency gathering at a client’s office. I instantly felt attracted to the place, not because of all the brilliant work nor the impressive roster of clients for but because of the down to earth, sincerely friendly and confident attitude that radiated against me during that first encounter with what would, years later, become my new colleagues.
So, despite just one proper day in our Bristol office with my colleagues, the rest of my time has been spent interacting with people on screens.
Through the power of Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, Webex, text and old-fashioned telephone, I’ve been made to feel at home and in control of my own destiny. Setting up an albeit temporary home in a new country with my family was daunting enough. But knowing that people had my back made my decision to accept the offer to see lockdown from the Swedish woods much easier.
And then there’s my whole onboarding which has been handled meticulously. It’s been impressive to watch how my colleagues, with their various expertise areas, has managed to swiftly adapt to this new reality and create an interactive and truly inspiring virtual introduction. Imagine if this would have happened ten or even five years ago. It’s easy to forget how fast technology and a thing like internet speed has evolved throughout the last few years. But technology can only take you so far.
What’s so amazing is that I’ve never felt better about starting a new role, ever, despite a world in turmoil and a lack of physical interaction with my new teammates.
Part of this is the actual technology, part is how we use it here at Taxi Studio. But the biggest part is the fact that this company is such a kind, supportive and professional place that it’s hard not to feel at home and welcome, no matter the worldly constraints.
If this global crisis brings anything good, one thing will probably be that we will have a better understanding of how to treat each other and this fragile planet of ours. The other equipping us with a mental readiness to work more agile and be less limited by time, place and means of communication.
This future will require confidence to stand out. To sometimes break the rules to reach our global audiences. And lots of compassion and attentiveness to make sure we read and understand them well, sitting there, in the confinement of their safe homes, looking at a little screen, trying to make sense of this brave new world of ours.