Working together from different locations – some of them regional, some of them global – had already been a hallmark of our work for many years.
Throughout this period, we learned where the typical stumbling blocks are hidden and also which approaches lead to success for executives and their employees.
At the same time, computer designers developed increasingly suitable IT tools to facilitate digital communication across distances using video calls, chats and the digital office concept.
Digitalisation was becoming a component in many areas of today’s organisations, entailing a variety of advantages and disadvantages for the people using them. At the same time, the range of options for digital learning, such as online trainings and blended learning, i.e. programmes assembled from in-person meetings and digital modules, grew. Some constructive methods for remote communication came to prove their value. They were described in the literature and were used regularly.
More and more executives as well as self-organised groups began meeting more frequently on a virtual basis rather than come together in person and have to put up with travelling long distances. Perhaps we also contributed to this by offering a wide range of seminars and consultations on this topic.
Then the coronavirus struck. Literally overnight, it became essential to provide and apply methods and technologies we had all been discussing for years.
Throughout the economy, we have increased budgets for laptops, headsets and video cameras. We have acquired and tested licenses.
And suddenly, many people started experiencing not only what working digitally actually means, but also what parameters and agreements are required in order to work successfully, efficiently and also joyfully across distances. This vast range of opportunities remains in place, now that we can again meet personally for certain projects and some people are jumping at the opportunity to return to the office.
This wealth of new experiences and this openness to new media will remain with us after the acute corona safety measures have been lifted. Our learning and working environment – our leadership, collaboration and learning landscape – has changed: it has become more colourful, more multi-layered and thus more agile. At the same time, it requires an expanded type of professionalism. What exciting times we’re living in!