Shake it up

What's changed for you in the last two years? When before there was a culture of everyone having to be present at their desks for 7 hours a day has your employer now embraced hybrid working? Or has that one individual who previously couldn't insert an image into a Word document now become the company expert on MS Teams?

I'm sure that everybody's workplace has, in some way, been changed by the response to Covid. For example, I'm now in a much more flexible environment that allows me to choose between home and/or office. This means I can maximise what I get done and better fulfill all my out of work commitments. I like this balance as it means I can focus on tasks when at home but enjoy working collaboratively in person. It's very hard to have creative conversations on a video call!

But what are the big changes I've seen in Digital Marketing? I spent 'Lockdown 1' coming up with solutions for online graduations/open days/offer holder days etc. Each one of these has been enough of a success for us to keep certain elements going into the future. For example, running our offer holder days online meant we tripled attendance and catered for people in different time zones saving them a long and expensive trip to campus. 

For better or worse it's meant there has been even more focus on digital solutions for problems. The positives of this are that many employees have upskilled. This has been a necessity as customer expectations have increased too due to more and more time being spent online.

This increased demand for digital skills has meant experienced marketers are much sought after. One recruitment agency I spoke to said that if we weren't offering digital marketing job seekers 4 days a week and only one of those in the office as a package (for the same salary) then there was no point trying to recruit. It's a job seekers market and they need to take advantage where they can. I've had more LinkedIn approaches from recruitment agents in the last 6 months than in the whole previous 5 years!

Alongside this there are also many well documented dangers. The counterpoint to the amount of jobs available has meant there is now worse economic equality as tech-savvy people pull further ahead of those who have less access to digital tools. Big technology firms are now more powerful than ever as the more people are online the more information they gather about society. Finally, there is a vey big danger that misinformation can be more easily spread with lies and hate speech being weaponized in order to propagate destructive biases and fears.

More than ever, we need to be discerning in what we create and what we consume. One of my main lessons from what we have all experienced is that moderation is key. Especially in how much we engage online. I have a hope that digital enagagement will be something that makes life easier whilst not ruling and manipulating people's relationships. The priority should be making slick online experiences which allow people to make up for lost time and enjoy more important human and spiritual relationships. We've all been forced to be at home more, and spend more time with family in the last two years - let's keep it that way!
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