As we are, yet again, forced into physical isolation, electronically, we are revealing more about ourselves than ever before. Suddenly, our colleagues, business partners and peers have been welcomed into our homes, and most probably have met our partners, children, and pets. In short, being distant has given us more insight into people we cross paths with daily.
Our humane sides have come to the fore and influenced, both consciously and subconsciously, how we relate to or perceive our work associates. Overall, I suspect that this transposition has mostly brought about positive effects.
The typical email opener, ‘Hope this finds you well’ has evolved from a mere gesture to a demonstration of genuine concern.
Our families are more aware of the challenges we face outside home, and for the better or worse, have come face-to-face with our ‘work personas’. In most cases that I know of, this has led to greater understanding and appreciation.
Suddenly, taking a break is not seen as wasteful, but an opportunity to regroup with oneself.
Does this mean it might be time to start thinking about making some permanent changes when it comes to how we relate to our work and personal lives, specially that tricky part where they might intersect?
One thing is for sure, we are now more aware of our and each other’s humanity.
As a designer and owner of a small business that deals with numerous communities, craftsmen, artists, technicians, and tradesmen, I find myself constantly thinking beyond a business relationship and consider how people’s work impacts their private lives. I no longer make contact just on work-related matters, but also on other areas of shared interest, hobbies and experiences.
So, what does this mean going forward?
As we have embraced the new normal, the plans we have developed for The Artistry as an experiential space have begun to take shape. In October, during London Craft Week, we welcomed a diverse group of design lovers, collectors and buyers; we had conversations on design, but mostly on life. We enjoyed sake and tea tastings, and those we didn’t know left as friends. Work will continue, but maybe it is a good thing that this difficult time has allowed us to invest in each other once again.