You will remember, in the Before Times, how Professor Robert Kelly’s interview with the BBC was photobombed by his children (and how ninja-ly his wife, Jung-a Kim, rounded them up).
Even then I thought how very humanizing was this little cameo, and that it would be great if we could see more of this sort of candid behaviour.
Fast forward a couple of years and we’ve all been there of course. With working from home sweeping across the world, those of us lucky enough to be able to do so have had our fill of dodgy internet connections, ‘You’re on mute’s, animals being inappropriate and offspring-ish interruptions—both sides of the Zoom/Teams/Chime (delete as applicable) window.
And the reaction to such ‘interruptions’, in my experience, has been uniformly of the ‘don’t worry’/‘we’ll be here when you get back/‘awww’ variety. I’ve even seriously considered coaching Joshua to come in and be cute while I’m on a pitch. Every little helps, right?
So why do people still worry about it? School’s closed or your childminder has COVID or whatever it is, there’s no need to feel bad for having to dash off to rescue a toddler or the fact that your child has had the temerity to come into your home’ office’ and poke their little face into your webcam.
We honestly don’t mind.
In fact, I love it.
For those of us who are working mostly from home it reminds us that our colleagues, many of whom we may have hardly met over the last two years, are still the people they were, far deeper and interesting and real than you’ll ever see on screen.
It reminds us that we are in the middle of a world-changing event, that we’re doing the best that we can, and that we all could do with caring a little more for each other.
So, please, don’t feel you have to apologize for being human when your home life interrupts your work.
We get it. We accept it.
But those endless pictures of cats on keyboards? You can stop that nonsense right now.