As so many families deal with staggering health, financial and work hardships created by COVID-19, we thought long and hard before posting about some little positives. It is a privilege to be able to work from home and to be able to reflect on this at all right now. Yet crises bring forth such strengths and innovation from people and communities, and some focus on these is needed. In that spirit, we asked our Resource Media colleagues what little silver linings they’ve been noticing these days, and we share a few here that we hope will persist for a long time to come.
- Building relationships. With more video calls being done from home, personal lives are becoming more visible during work lives. We see or hear someone’s children or a pet, or notice a poster on the wall, and a conversation takes off. This is such a good thing, getting to know one another more fully, within and across organizations. Relationships are everything.
- Practicing patience. We’re seeing folks appreciating that others may be juggling a lot. Rather than assuming turnaround times, people are asking what’s feasible. There’s more patience and flexibility around expectations for a response, a deadline or scheduling.
- Finding simple joys. Without in-person friend gatherings, sporting events or other usual activities, moments of joy in the day or week are coming from cooking a meal, a great conversation or a new routine of neighborhood walks with a family member. The need for some joy in our day hasn’t changed, just the places we are noticing and finding it.
- Freely sharing expertise. Talents are everywhere, and always have been, but wow are they being widely shared now. Facebook Live sing-a-longs, children’s story readings online, living room concerts, yoga classes, drawing lessons, virtual meeting tips and hints for, well, everything.
- Lightening with laughter. They say it’s the best medicine, and humor is helping so many of us cope. At Resource Media, we have a special Slack channel just dedicated to sharing memes, videos, and other funnies to help relieve the stress of the situation. The creativity is amazing.
- Appreciating that everyone “has” mental health. Conference calls now start with time for people to check in with each other on their well-being or state of mind. It’s happening on emails too. People are taking time to consider how a colleague or partner may face unique and unequal burdens created by the pandemic. There is more open and frequent discussion about anxiety and grieving.
- More #FakeNews vigilance. With public health on the line, there seems to be more emphasis on checking what’s real and what’s reputable. Oh, how this so needs to continue!
- Openness around uncertainty. There can be a lot of pressure in our work lives to have the answer, to convey certainty, to have experience. But most of us haven’t lived through a global pandemic. Conversations and planning in this context are opening space for everyone to be learners together, for uncertainty to be okay. It’s enabling some shedding of usual power dynamics and yielding some space for more equity.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on little silver linings. Drop us a line at email@example.com or please find us on Twitter @Rmedia.
— Debbie Slobe, Senior Program Director and Jeff Cappella, Managing Director