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Opinion by Sascha Moore - May 4, 2020

The upside of doing business in isolation

The top 15 perks that we’re bound to lament retrospectively

We all prioritise health, home, hip pocket and happiness: and it’s very rare to have all elements hit simultaneously. It’s no wonder that our worlds have been derailed on mass by Covid-19. As we all try to remain relatively sane, stay afloat, and reframe ‘business as usual,’ it’s counter intuitive to consider that we might miss a small part of self-isolation once the storm passes.

Here are some upsides of doing business in isolation that we should embrace now

  1. No travel: No redundant time spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic, copious lines or delays in waiting for public transport equates to significantly less stress, reduced cost, more time, and far greater productivity.
  2. Meetings that matter: Virtual meetings with a clear agenda, required outcomes and corresponding next steps have replaced copious, often ritualistic in-person meetings. Virtual meetings tend to also be highly efficient by being shorter and more engaging – which again, catapults productivity.
  3. Substantially less interruptions: The roaming stream of interruptions in the office are immediately removed when you’re flying solo. As a consequence, communications are much more deliberate and considered when the temptation of asking the colleague sitting next to you their opinion becomes void.
  4. Focus on the output, rather than the process: Firms are now forced to place more focus on trust, independence, responsibility and accountability on the individual. This promotes a highly productive environment motivated by delivering outputs efficiently versus going through the motions of ‘face time’ centric environments.
  5. The clear distinction between ‘right’ and ‘privilege:’ There’s no doubt that the pandemic has been very humbling and exposed the true value of what we take for granted: in particular, freedom of choice, security, autonomy and relationships. Similarly, there’s a renewed sense of gratitude and reconnection with the simple things that previously seemed tedious or unnoticed.
  6. More awareness, acceptance and empathy: With higher levels of exposure, we’re innately more forgiving of lifestyle and circumstances, without prejudice.
  7. More generosity: Whether it be physical, fiscal, emotional or other, we have a heightened sense of community and are actively invested in supporting those around us. This has resulted in a far greater outreach, where the polite lip service of ‘how are you?’ has been replaced with genuine intent.
  8. Openly accepting, and discussing mental health: We’re now in a time where the discussion of mental health is considered as paramount as physical well-being, and accordingly, those who are being affected have a forum to be more transparent without discrimination.
  9. More forced downtime: The pace of ‘BC’ (before-Corona virus) enables us to skirt on the top of life, with fast-tracked visions of success and fulfilment. There’s a lot to be said for the ‘AC’ (after-Corona) state of being released from life’s commitments and obligations, and being forced to slow down. And let’s not underestimate how divine it is to have true flexibility, get more sleep, exercise and have the head-space for creative endeavours (a.k.a. this article which would have happened on the ‘12th of Never’ in ‘BC’ times).
  10. Realignment of values: Being introspective and reprioritising is a luxury that’s usually not permitted by pace.
  11. Greater respect: For the first time ever, I understand why my Grandparents hoarded supplies that seemed trivial and unnecessary. Their version of survival is far different to ours, despite our inherent sense of injustice based on the redaction of liberties. This perspective contributes toward a greater respect for hardship and empathy toward those who face greater challenges than our own.
  12. Facing fear head on: We’re being forced to address our vulnerabilities with the choice to either combat, reject and redefine ‘business as usual,’ or cling onto what was with dear life. There’s no oxygen in the latter, which is as confronting as it is liberating.
  13. Counting, and being grateful for, our pennies: The fragile ecosystem we’re living in forces us to appreciate the work coming through the door, and being grateful for the governmental infrastructure that’s helping to cushion the blow. By default, there seems to be an increasingly conservative approach to credit (and hopefully will motivate a more savings-conscious culture in the future).
  14. The Australian spirit is alive and well: The ‘she’ll be right,’ ‘bonza’ optimism has resurfaced as a fond reminder of our past, but equally as a stout reminder of innate strength as we collectively battle the future.
  15. Demand for innovation: It’s very rare to find oneself in a position of being able to be truly pioneering. Providing vision and leadership, realising solutions and embracing the opportunity that comes from disruption is utopian. For many, this is our defining moment.

This article originally featured in The Adviser