The Importance of Levity in Intense Times

Mar 29, 2020 • FeaturesKris OldlandNick FrankRemote Assistancefield servicefield service managementSi2 partnersremote workingcorona virusCovid-19Harald Wasserman

An unexpected but amusing cameo in a recent live stream with Nick Frank and Harald Wasserman not only brought a welcome moment of levity but also shone a spotlight on an important, but often overlooked aspect of remote working. Kris Oldland, reflects back on the session... 

I'm sure everyone of us at the moment is under a greater level of strain than we have ever felt before.

For me personally, I can confess to having never been under so much pressure. As an independent publisher, we have a tendency to punch well above our weight as it is, with an output that matches and dare I say it, betters that of any of the mainstream publishers I have worked for during my entire career in publishing. This is something I take immense pride in. 

Similarly, as the field service sectors leading global voice, I felt it was simply our duty to react in a proactive and positive manner to the current Covid19 pandemic and so establishing the support channel that we have created to host a series of live sessions to help offer guidance to field service companies during this time was something that I knew in my heart we had to move mountains to do. 

It is at times of crisis that we need both leaders and we need to come together as a community. It is our job as the primary layer of news media in the global field service sector to facilitate that. And we may be winging it a little, as are we all at the moment, but so far, I think we've done a reasonable job of achieving quite a lot in very little time - thanks in the main to the wonderful support from our friends in the industry.

But I'll freely admit, it has been tough, I'm tired and I know there is a long way to go yet. We'll get there, but there is a long, long way to go.


An Excellent Moment of Learning from an Unexpected Source: 

So a week or so on from the first Emergency Symposium we hosted on Covid-19 and its impact on field service organisations and I have just a moment to take stock on everything that happened in a whirlwind of anxiety, anticipation, and action.

While there have been countless excellent learnings from our Covid19 sessions, which you can catch up on here, perhaps one of the most important aspects of the current situation was raised by an unexpected cameo on my recent stream with Nick Frank and Harald Wasserman of Si2 Partners


"It was the follow up cameo that brought a wonderful moment of levity into what have quite understandably been a series of tense sessions across the week..."


It was a moment of sheer unexpected levity, and it shone a light on a very important, yet potentially easily overlooked, aspect of the remote working environment we are all currently engaged in. 

Just as Nick was speaking about the importance of strong leadership we saw a blurred flash across the camera as his young daughter entered into the shot. However, it was the follow up cameo that brought a wonderful moment of levity into what have quite understandably been a series of tense sessions across the week. With the wonderful exuberance of youth on her side, Nick's daughter proceeded to torment her Dad, with a pair of bunny ears behind his head and a wry smile to our live audience before treating us to one more wave as her brief, but enjoyable cameo came to an end. 

It was an endearing moment, one that reminded us all of the humanity that lies behind the screen - something that was acknowledged by a number of the audience in the chat room of the live session. 


"Actually, you are letting people in to your lives and I think this is quite difficult for some people..."


Nick coped with things admirably, and there were shades of Professor Robert Kelly's famous BBC video interview, which went viral, for sure. However, what this intervention brought forward was an important discussion on the importance of levity in these challenging times. 

"The thing about remote working and 'virtual sessions' is that they are very intense," Frank commented during the stream. 

"The meetings are much shorter, they are to the point and rather than having one or two sessions which are much longer these are shorter, more frequent and more intense. The other thing is that you can see the environment. Actually, you are letting people in to your lives and I think this is quite difficult for some people. 

"But now, because of the situation we are in, people are getting used to the seeing the working environment and it actually becomes OK, we're all in the same boat and it is of no surprise. What it brings is an informality to the discussion which completely changes the means of communication.

"I think it is these moments of levity and socialisation that can allow us to understand our teams as people and who they are and that is an important part of leadership, and good leadership is vital at the moment." 

Well said Nick and thanks Katy for bringing a smile to many of our faces at an intense time. It was a lesson many of us needed - i.e. to remember that while we may be working a million miles an hour to get through this crisis, while the rolling news continues to update us on everything that is in front of us, ultimately we must remember that a moment of levity, a reminder of the human behind the screen, can be a wonderful tonic to keep us going. 


Finally, to say a big thank you for everyone who has joined our new Patreon tiers of paid for support of our work. 

We will be arranging for all of our premium content library to be uploaded to a non-sponsored, members only access area in the coming week and will also be setting up the discussion groups and arranging for some additional member only interviews to be conducted so watch this space.  

If you are interested in accessing our additional membership tiers you can do so from as little as £15/month and throughout the duration of the pandemic that costs will give you access to the top tier VIP membership as well. Find out more @