Oh, those meetings and presentations!

By now, most of us are tired of continuous calls and virtual meetings. We are in the second year of the pandemic and the virus is making us move like a yo-yo. Offices plan hybrid models but when it comes to actually implementing the plans, wham! The virus resurfaces only to remind us that it is still very much around.

Speaking to a cross-section of colleagues across the comms and PR industry what resonates with me is that it is not the work from home per say that is biting people. Many are happy they do not have to be on the roads caught up in traffic snarls and by being at home they can actually contribute a bit to a greener planet. Then there are those who view the time at hand as an opportunity to pick up old skills and cultivate ‘me time.’

It is the tiredness that sets in with constant calls and back-to-back virtual meetings that is mentally creating a weight that with every passing day becomes heavier to shake off. Human beings are creatures of habit. To expect them to recalibrate their routine every now and then is akin to putting them on a roller coaster ride from which there seems to be no respite. How do we then deal with this massive upheaval in our lives that seems to be draining our energy levels?

  1. Don’t be impatient

The pandemic has ensured that everything around us is in a constant state of flux. We are not alone in this. Point is – do we accept this change and come to terms with it and then turn it around its head to create positive changes? Or do we give up trying and instead, allow ourselves to be swept away by it…it is a choice we all have and one that we can all make.

Question to ask yourself: What choice am I exercising?

  1. Stay firm on your convictions

As communicators, we understand the power of messaging and creating the right narrative. Those are born out of our firm belief in our organization’s values and mission. Similarly, if you believe in your own values and what you believe is to be the right thing to do, you will be able to bring about a fundamental change in the way you approach this mental challenge that you are currently facing. How convincing are you about yourself?

Question to ask yourself: What is my narrative about my own self?

  1. It is the present that matters. But it is the future that needs to be the focus

Our work is about the present, about this moment. The calls, the virtual meetings – they are what our today is made of. It is easy in these circumstances to put our hands up and concede defeat. Fatigue is a very debilitating disease – it has the absolute power to pull one down to the darkest abyss. So, while we need to be in the moment, we should not lose sight of our focus for the future. Pay attention to the relevant conversations. Say no to the irrelevant and the temporary.

Question to ask yourself: How is this meeting benefiting me/my organization today and tomorrow?

  1. Be kind – to yourself and to others

You are not the only one on this roller coaster. Many of your colleagues are experiencing the same upheavals. A true professional is one who can forge unity through conversations, kindness, and compassion. This is the way you get inspired and can inspire others as well.

Question to ask yourself – what do you obsess about the most? The superficial, vain conversations or are your feet firmly planted on the ground and tuned in for building relationships?

“Great character is forged through hardships,” so said the renowned Japanese author – Eiji Yoshikawa. Surviving the hazard of work from home, virtual meetings, and incessant calls can make our life go through ups and downs. If we are able to navigate this phase successfully, we can truly enrich our professional and personal lives.


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

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