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Victoria Wall Associates Team Barometer: How are we doing?

10 Jun 2020 |

By Rosa von Fürstenberg

Team Barometer

In times of crisis, the question “How are you?” takes on a new meaning. Now that we are adapting to this extraordinary set of circumstances - home working, distributed teams and having to make more of an effort to communicate effectively and gauge each other’s mood and state of mind, asking each other how we are is so, so much more meaningful than the usual, non-pandemic, rhetoric question at the beginning of every conversation. So: how are we?

We are OK!

However, we struggle with some things...

We are ok but there are many things we struggle with, and that we would prefer to be different. What is the number one thing that the team at VWA miss? It is seeing friends and family, in the flesh, and being able to hug them. While this is hard for all of us, we are reminded that humans are social animals and of the importance of connection and the human touch. It also makes us think about those who were lonely and having to cope with this long before the pandemic…

The next thing that we are struggling with is the amount of uncertainty in all aspects of live – and the depressing impact of the daily news on our mood. This is where we really have to dig deep and be resilient, as this will take time to change. It has been hard to speak to candidates, especially temps, without being able to help them advance their job search or secure that temp job that keeps the wolf from the door. Feelings of unproductivity, home schooling and bills piling up also feature on the list of things that we have had to cope with. However – on the upside there have been a few positives that we have been able to identify!

What has been good about Lockdown?

How did we adapt?

To top the list is the flexibility that working from home gives us. The absence of commuting takes away a large chunk of stress at the beginning and the end of our days, and we gain time to do other things. We have quickly adapted to this and summoned the discipline to do our jobs without the motivation that being around each other and being physically in the office gives. The best thing for Nick has been that when working during lockdown, it has been much easier to focus – and many of us would agree. Working in the office tends to be much more disjointed and stop-and-go, with colleagues, phone calls and everything else that pops up during an average workday.

Another positive discovery is Zoom – meetings never started this much on time before, and everyone is very considerate and – after a short learning curve – we all have our say in team meetings. In addition, doing interviews on Zoom has been highly effective and candidates seem to be as able to open up and relax on the screen as in person.

What else is good about this situation? Not having to do the school run came up, being able to listen to music, feeling connected as a team and the planet having a break from pollution and littering.

How have we managed to ride the highs and lows?

The Secret Ingredient

Without a doubt, our strong sense of team, of loyalty and support of each other, and the fact that we genuinely like each other have been what has kept us going to date. We feel very lucky and grateful to be working with truly committed, intelligent and emotionally sane colleagues who support each other, sense each other’s “off days” and give just enough support, and who communicate openly and freely. Here´s to the VWA family and the strength therein!

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