Human contact in a Covid world: that joyous feeling of connection

Covid-19 and all its consequences has forced us to adapt, discover and face challenges in a previously unimaginable way.

Where have you found moments of joy and positivity? For our Inclusion and Diversity Director, Claire Williams, the reminder of that in person face-to-face connection was unbeatable.

On Thursday I had what felt like a remarkable and wonderful experience.

That’s quite a statement… you are wondering, wow, what you have been getting up to Claire?

For the first time since mid-March, I had a face to face, in person, three-dimensional meeting with a colleague – one of our associate team. Liz and I sat in Starbucks, socially distanced, drank tea and talked about work, and then family, and then lockdown. Nothing remarkable in that, but the effect it had on me was energising, enlivening even joyous.

I had forgotten that feeling. The feeling that has, on reflection, carried me through 30 years in the people business. That feeling is why I do it.

I count my blessings. Through the past five months, I have been able to continue to work, my friends and family have been well, the team seem happy, I haven’t had to struggle with the challenges of home schooling.  

Luckily, so many colleagues and clients have found this period enriching. People are talking about the benefits of no commute, dads inparticular talking about the being about to see little ones during the week, introverts thriving. Lots of people are talking about being more connected than ever before. But, compared to in person human contact, the flat screen just doesn’t cut it for me.

We must remember though, that this experience has been super tough for many and the continued uncertainty carries on.

It’s a challenge for us all. This experience has been super tough for many and the continued uncertainty carries on. We are finding the safe balance: not letting each other down by failing to respect different needs, trying to make sense of conflicting messaging.

We do though have a precious opportunity to pick out the best bits: flexible working as the norm, carbon emissions down, a true appreciation of people’s difference – we have had to share so much more of ourselves as we see into each other’s lives via Teams or Zoom. And people talk so positively about the “best bit of lockdown” – Grayson Perry’s Art club for me – but honestly, for me, the best but will be the end bit.

Big hugs to you all

Claire Williams,

Inclusion and Diversity Director