A black and white photo of a tuxedo cat sitting at a desktop computer. The cat appears to be on Zoom with six other cats.
Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

What a long, strange year it’s been.

We’ve worked from our homes, in our pajama pants, with our dogs and our cats and our kids making cameos on our video calls…and the world hasn’t fallen apart yet. If anything, many of us have learned to be more efficient at our jobs and more compassionate toward our colleagues and clients. It’s almost as if pre-pandemic office dress codes and standardized working hours…didn’t actually matter.

And that’s the general gist of a post I just published on Medium, which is making quite a bit of traction. (I’m sure that cat photo doesn’t hurt!) Check out an excerpt below, or read the whole essay here.

If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, though, it’s that literally none of those rules of workplace professionalism matter. Professionalism in 2021 isn’t about what time you show up for work or whether your interpretation of “business casual” is consistent with your company’s policy. None of that matters. None of it ever actually mattered; we just collectively convinced ourselves over the years that it did.

If you are getting your job done—if you are responding to important emails in a timely manner and meeting deadlines or quotas and producing quality work and treating your colleagues with respect—all while also balancing virtual schooling and an increasingly altered circadian rhythm and the collective trauma of a deadly pandemic, you are already being professional.


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