2020 (So Far) – The Right Kind of Horrible.

It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a tough one to date. Hundreds of thousands of lives lost to a pandemic that shows no real sign of ebbing is obviously horrible, let’s be clear about that. Our thoughts go out to all those who are suffering, who have lost, and who are working round the clock towards a vaccine.

With all this in mind, there are many people – myself included – who can’t wait to get back to a greater sense of normality as soon as it’s safe*.

But…

…as best as I can see – there are even more who don’t want to go back to things exactly as they were. Because when you’re forced into change, even as brutally as 2020 has forced us, you realise that not everything about that change sucks.

At GIG, we’re experiencing some epiphanies.

Although through the change forced upon us, these are making us a better team.

For example, working from home. I’ve always doggedly maintained that agencies are best as bricks and mortar businesses, where people can feed off each other’s ideas and energy, and spontaneously get together for thinking sessions. But lockdown has provided the inconvenient truth that this belief is perhaps rather sentimental and old fashioned. The truth is, technology and a more acute sense of the physical absence of others has increased our collaboration over the past four months. Moreover, our output has never looked better (subjectivity alert).

There have also been improvements in the way we interact with clients.

Sessions that would have involved a day trip to Switzerland in 2019 are taking up half an afternoon in 2020 with absolutely zero loss to project fidelity. Meanwhile, safe to say the planet isn’t objecting to our reduced carbon footprint.

We’ve also had time to reflect on things from a position of greater self-awareness than we might otherwise have done. When life feels a little more fragile, it’s easier for us to appreciate the significance of our work in promoting good health to those that need it. At GIG we’ve always taken our work seriously, but now we can take it a little more personally too.

Well, what does this mean for GIG?

So as we figure out how to reshape our business to make the most of all these learnings, two things are becoming clearer to me, although neither are yet certain.

First, we’re always going to have an office somewhere, in some capacity, because I’m sentimental. It just won’t be as full all the time.

And second, 2020 is going to be remembered as a good year, as well as a horrible one.

*and many utter doughnuts who want to do so before it’s safe but let’s not give them oxygen here.

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