No going back: #TimeTo avoids a return to the “old normal”

Have we all got into terrible habits during lockdown? Mindshare’s Nick Emery and Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker both got fired for bad behaviour on Zoom calls, and it seems the rest of us are due a reminder of office etiquette before we are ready to return.

Campaign group TimeTo’s study found that 49% of people are worried that boundaries have been forgotten in lockdown, and are dreading the spectre of sexual harassment back when they get back to the office.

The survey paints a grim picture of office life, with respondents expecting “pent up” feelings to result in a rush to inappropriate behaviour when restrictions are lifted. Physical distancing might help, but fewer people in the office means that some people will feel more vulnerable, and depressingly a third of workers are unsure if their employers even care.

Helen Calcraft, founder of Lucky Generals (the agency that made the 2019 TimeTo Christmas ad, above) said: “Just because the people who perpetrate sexual harassment have been away for a while doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. This research shows that a lot of people in our industry are scared to come back to the office, and this is wrong. It also shows they want this issue tackled.”

TimeTo has put together a refreshed code of conduct to remind us how to behave, and a shorter, more accessible training programme that it hopes will meet the new demands of a hybrid work environment.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.