Lockdown may have forced us to be physically distant, but, paradoxically, it has also brought us closer together emotionally, and highlighted the need for a greater personal understanding of others.
In the recent EY Future Consumer Index survey, respondents’ core desires were shown to have shifted from material pleasures toward more basic physical and emotional needs like “quality” and “health.”
Lockdown has enabled us to make more personal connections. With children, partners and elderly parents walking in and out of video calls, against a backdrop of domesticity, we’ve all had a glimpse into the lives of our colleagues. In future, we need to maintain and build on this understanding, bringing greater empathy into our working relationships. However, as Debbie Crosbie, CEO of TSB Bank Plc, emphasizes, “with the home environment and the office environment becoming almost one and the same, it’s critical to support people, and give them sufficient space and privacy.”
Kerry Dryburgh, bp’s Executive Vice President for People and Culture, reminds us that “Staying connected is about how we treat each other. It’s about knowing the person. It’s about knowing not just their name but their children’s names, and the environments in which they live and work, to understand the challenges they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis.”
Increasingly, more are opening up about mental health. In a recent EY article, How do you ensure wellbeing is at the core of workforce resilience, 44.4% of people working from home during the pandemic say they’ve experienced a decline in their mental health.