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Series 1: Human Interaction & Pandemic

Updated: Jun 11, 2022


Has the world changed?

Who knew what we were about to be faced with, how devastating our lives were about to become. The pandemic in short was a game-changer moment, it was like everything you learnt, trained and practised to be was scraped moments away. It was like an adult becoming a baby or the skilful becoming a newbie, months on months we as individuals who collectively form a company or a workforce became unsure how to work anymore until a few months into the pandemic where we relied on essential things and that is technology to keep us moving.

Sure you sitting there and thinking oh my god, who is this guy, this ain't 1980 where everyone using pen and paper. Of course, we are not living in that time period, I mean we are talking about how we do business such as face to face interaction on day to day or your peaky nosy manager that hovers your shoulder like a flying saucer wondering what you doing on that browser even though it’s break time or those gossip in the canteen area where everybody seems to take an interest in everyone livelihood on day to day basis. We can’t forget the high flyers zooming around the world doing business slash maybe a cheeky holiday on the side. Let’s face it everything came to a standstill which felt like 2 minutes of silence extended to a month or more.

Of Course, the politicians are giving us reassurance everything will be back to normal in 3 weeks as if they had the crystal ball. Oh well, can’t deny their misguidance or confusion became almost a sense of humour as people laughed on and realised we were going to be doomed for a while. While delusions also became a question for business, many may have wondered or even posed the question of how do we continue to work if a pandemic is going to be here for a while.

The answer obviously was in technology, of course, everyone today either has a work laptop or the clever cloud that allowed people to remotely log in and continue working. I am referring more to human interaction and no I am not talking about your Instagram, Facebook or any social media app. I am referring to everything else above that we took guarantee in life and how we continue with that. Ta’daa look no further the answer was already there in many workplaces which were video conferencing.

Now some companies gave the importance of video conferencing more than others but it was purely for cost-saving strategies and resources available. It wasn’t because they didn’t want employees to travel and so on. It was simply those two factors that played a crucial part for a lot of companies while other companies that can afford the luxury of sending employees on work travel and doing business face to face continue to do so.

The Big Pause & Adaption Phase:

Now we know the technologies already existed and infrastructure was already implemented so why was it a shock to people during a pandemic not to know how to operate anymore. The question was never around the money, the technology or any of the business infrastructure. The big question or the stumbling block, even let’s call it “The Big Pause” was simply around a singular word which is ‘Adaptation”. Now you may be sitting there scratching your head thinking in what way are we really stuck. Let’s put this in a more visual context, so we place a person in a location and give the person a tool and a task. There is a high chance this person will not be able to perform simply because they have no reason for adaptation as there is no guidance, no culture or society. When there is no understanding of something we as humans become puzzled as to what we should do, and why we should do it. When there is no answer to those questions then we stop because we can not find a purpose.

Now here is the fun part and this is where everything changed as we know it. I would like to call it “The Big Drive”. During those unprecedented months, we have seen changes everywhere from the company you work for to the adverts on TV we see every day. Think about it while your company finally got around to knowing how to drive the workforce remotely by providing tools and comfort from working from home either by providing resources such as monitors, keyboards etc or cash incentive to go out and purchase whatever material required for you to deliver the result the company still expect from every individual.

HR departments are now tasked with different agendas like never ever before such as monitoring and providing support to each individual to ensure they have resources and guidance when it comes to employees having Covid infection and how they continue. In general, all department was now slowly being equipped and guided by an individual or the HR as a whole on how to improve employees' morale, providing that remote support and guidance in a time when we all need each other while the World continue to spin on-axis and humanity seeks for its cure and the world to recover one day.

We had to change our lifestyle to continue as they say,” The world doesn’t stop for anyone so why should we stop”. It was only a matter of months till we figured out how we continue to live our life as normal behind the closed doors and keep things tinkering along as they were. We just had to find the way and the reason for adaption. Technology has allowed us to do this far better than ever in human history. Collaboration was critical because it is what makes a company grow, it is what makes a community be a unity, group of people to have a voice that makes an impact. It is what has allowed scientists across the globe to be united toward one mission, one cause which is to find the cure for the pandemic and let humanity be restored.

Take that concept of the reality of what collaboration was truly about and apply it to everything and we had an answer. We found new means and a new way to communicate and share ideas and for everyone to have a voice and opinion that was heard and seen via the video conference. Due to how inexpensive modern technology is, it wasn’t very hard for an average working individual to own a computer with a webcam, speakers and pair of headphones. The simplest resource allowed the person to communicate with the entire workforce, share the work across email and instant messaging or present the work over the call. The companies behind video conferencing solutions were at a fast pace to provide as much functionality as possible through the user interface for a person or team would require to ensure collaboration was never comprised and the result of productivity was the same or greater as if they were in the office.

Every company had to adapt even as Estate agents were doing online property viewing via video call, who would ever imagine that you will be making one of the biggest decisions of life via video call. If you talked about this idea pre-pandemic with an estate agent, well let's just say you can easily become the laughing stock and no one would ever take you seriously but look what mother nature has forced us to change and evolve better. Think about a food delivery company that went spiralling as many people ordered food, adaptation had to be made to how the food delivery company worked as the simple principle behind the process contained the majority of human interaction now that had to be tweaked to ensure business still operational, demands are met and service continues to be provided.

Where do we go from here?

I don’t think I have ever seen a moment where people were happier and more supportive one of another, as a community during a time of need. It is amazing how technology helped us to evolve and bring nations together but I do wonder have we also seen a new light or new way of hope that allows us to be better, clever and more productive than ever in the way we do business and every day routine in our life as if we have now placed a greater value in our life ever then before.

I do also wonder if technology was not there then what would have been different and how long would it have taken us to find a way to continue with life as it is. Do we just think we will always find a way to adapt to whatever gets thrown in our life? I think a new wave is about to come and it is one that brings positivity and new air to an environment where values are balanced and created in personal and working life. Let’s leave that chapter for another day while we still reflect on the past of what we went through.

This Blog post is by Mohammed Hasan (Audio Visual SME)


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