For some forward-thinking companies that previously valued authenticity, COVID-19 has barely made a dent in that aspect of their office culture. For others, it’s a kindly bigger change, moving from unspoken disapproval of inappropriateness to neutrality because there’s no other choice.
And in some workplaces that simply cannot arrest their doubts about individuality or manage their paranoia about their workers’ legacies, COVID-19 may force workers to do work that is stronger than the one before them.
But really, these workplaces that effortlessly blind authenticity relate to how one perceives working from home. Business leaders around the world, indeed those who had serious doubts about WFH, say it’s not that bad now, and some plan to continue WFH after the outbreak is over.
Over time, more conservative companies may come to the same view of workplace authenticity, it’s not so bad after all. Sandra Henke, head of people and culture at Hays, wrote: “Professional authenticity is important because authenticity itself is defined by the environment, culture, and methods of operation of the organization.
While we want to be completely ourselves, professionalism is an aspect of you. Always memorable.” Simple kindness can also be the highest quality of professional authenticity.
As expressed by the video invitations that form the maturity of office relations, it would be a grace to smile compassionately at someone in an awkward moment and also to move on, without thinking or accepting that the other person can be disturbed by factors outside of him.
Control Managers and directors then have a very large role in setting the tone. Neville Vincent, director of South Asia Pacific for Nutanix Pall Housing, said from the perspective of a company leader whose team faces these challenges:
“As leaders, we have to be very mindful of that and tolerant that some kid might put his head around the corner and appear in front of the camera – we have to accept that this is part of life, that we all have our own stories.
Because of this, the transfer of tone in workplaces is also reduced. Although it is still necessary for some way to take care of speech, gesture or emotions to facilitate mutual understanding, a worker no longer has to be as separated from the private persona as before.
From the way we dress and the accessories we choose to the causes we are willing to publicly support, to the way we express our studies and opinions, there are lower social morals and still real values.
There is less exposure to shadowing, less tendency to celebrate and talk about problems, and less to admit mistakes or not having all the answers.
People are ready to receive and give more feedback and show and give confidence. Studies of public policy, especially recent environmental policy, have shown that changes in gestures cause changes in beliefs.
The infused authenticity of video calls – seeing and accepting the opposite mortality of colleagues, managers and senior executives for weeks and months almost 24/7 is a gesture that shatters faith in the meaning of conformity. – driven personality and the need to separate the details of your life from work.
It’s leading to a shift toward greater acceptance of diversity, not just the gender diversity that many companies are dealing with, or the ethnic diversity that small businesses have moved toward, but diversity that encompasses a much broader and more nuanced compass.
People who care for elderly parents and young children; people living in crowded multigenerational homes; people whose artistic and religious beliefs may initially differ from those of their colleagues; and forward. COVID-19 has made us embrace the visibility of everyone in the workplace.