These are the words I shared with our team at our last in-person meeting before we air-hugged our goodbyes until who knows when. Our carefully thought-out plans for 2020 were instantaneously put on hold as COVID-19 took its grip. Like everyone else, we’re now creating plans for the unknown, but our approach to this pandemic is the same approach we’ve always practiced as a business. People first, empathy always. Every decision we make is made through the lens of: what is the right thing to do for our people? Our employees, clients, partners, friends, and families?
I believe there has never been a more important time for tolerance, kindness, and compassion. So we’re giving people space to share anxieties and fears. We’re welcoming disruption and trying new things. We’re trusting that people will do the best they can—and that no matter what that means, it will be enough. We’re finding new ways to stay connected—innovating services for our clients, embracing constraints to drive creativity and innovation. We’re celebrating those stepping up with reinvented solutions—healthcare workers, schools reimagining education, restaurateurs, manufacturers, entertainers—helping to keep life moving forward today while changing what tomorrow will be. We’re stepping back, slowing down, reflecting on what’s important, and finding hope through it all.
This is hard; but unlike many crises before this, this is universal. Every single person, business, leader, brand, and family has made a compromise or is going without as a result. So there is a sense that we’re all in this together, and with that comes more appreciation for each other and what we have. We are grateful for Zoom meetings and FaceTime happy hours, but this is not the way we’re meant to live or work. We’re meant to congregate, celebrate, go to concerts and sporting events. To look each other in the eye and yes, to actually touch each other.
So, I hope when we do come out of this, we’re able to take some things from this difficult time. More empathy. Gratitude for little interactions. Patience. Newfound innovation. This sense of community and togetherness. A deeper understanding of one another’s lives outside of work. More in-person happy hours. And for us, maybe a few more WFH days now that we have that mastered!