The crossrelations team was mainly in the home office for the past 85 days. In the meantime, we meet again two to three times a week in the office. We enjoy getting together again and experiencing the team spirit. During a lockdown like this, you realize what you’re actually missing: the small exchange in the coffee kitchen, the neighbours of the start-up that is just entering an exciting launch phase, the spontaneous meetings with the permanent ITQ tinkerers who surprise us with their new technologies, or simply the chance encounters during lunch at Babasu, which expand into mini-workshops. Yes, in the spacious rooms of the “Tectrum” it has become much quieter these days than its architect Norman Foster once imagined.
Internally, we had quickly found our way into the new mode of cooperation at both locations. Anyway, everyone knows what to do. What is more important to us is that we are in contact with each other every day and give our working day presence and structure. To do this, we use “Facetime” twice a day on home office days, once in the morning at the location to go through the most important things of the day. Then everyone meets again online shortly before closing time for the “Afternoon Call”. The most important channel for internal communication is our Slack project platform. This is where customer and project-related everyday life takes place. Under corona home office conditions, however, its use has expanded once again. This is also where we increasingly exchange ideas about how we experience the new everyday life and how the conditions for communication are changing. The report by colleagues on their first visit to the reopened fitness studio can provide more orientation than many a scientific forecast of the future.
The project work, the internal communication, it all works out pretty well and it’s amazing how well a company can function, even if no one opens the rooms at 9 a.m., distributes the mail and hardly anyone spends any physical time together in the conference room.
From a business point of view, we were fortunate to continue to be needed by our customers even during the crisis. We are not working to full capacity, but we know how to use the time that is freed up. It is good if it is possible to take care of needy relatives and friends during working hours. It is also good that we can think very intensively together about what the new normality will look like, which we and our customers will be faced with in the foreseeable future. We are consultants and have to recognise early on where the journey is headed and what communication will be required.
Corona, we have realized, is also a voyage of discovery into the inner workings of the agency, everyday agency life and consulting to rethink. The pandemic has raised a number of new questions of trust in all companies. How do companies and brands behave in the face of individual and social emergencies? Do they try to hold on to their employees or do they just want to get rid of them quickly? Do they trust them in the seclusion of their home office? Do they take responsibility for new social challenges or does their true, selfish face show behind all CSR appearances? We have received enough illustrative material in the past for the good and bad actions of corporate leaders.
Above all, of course, we asked ourselves how things would develop in terms of sustainability, our main topic. It was clear early on that Corona would also be a great test of the seriousness of the environmental and social positions of many companies. So over the past two months we have evaluated everything that our monitoring has been able to produce in terms of studies, reports and cases on the topic. A circle of friendly consultants and experts go to the hashtag #DigitalBonfire once a week to spar with each other, in order to test and evaluate the information gained for consequences.
As a result, we dare to venture an outlook on the conditions and perspectives of sustainability communication. On a new topic page, we show how sustainability issues can make a major comeback beyond the pandemic. We also launch our new series of talks with sustainability experts, the #triplebottomlinethinkers
What are your experiences and assessments? We hear from all sides that “after Corona” nothing will be the same as it was before. Will sustainability be reassessed by you and your company in the wake of the crisis? Will sustainability as a criterion for your professional development play a greater role in the future? Then we would be pleased to discuss these prospects with you. You can find us on #instagram, #facebook, #twitter or #linkedin.