Have you ever wondered if you can openly discuss your salary with your colleagues? And would you know how to handle sexual harassment that happens to male workers? Despite most adults spending most of their lifetimes in the office, there is a huge reluctance to talk about issues plaguing workplaces across many generations. We have seen workplaces evolve from cubicles to open office concepts. We have seen playrooms replacing meeting rooms. Yet, the physical changes left many elephants in the room unchanged and unaddressed.
And so, RTV Malaysia started the series “Elephants in the Office” last year as part of the RTV Originals content. The series is aimed at opening a dialogue on any office issues deemed ‘sensitive’ and ‘out of place’. The principle is to be both educational and entertaining; to provide the giggles and practical steps to overcome the issues. While creating the series, we set it in a neutral animal world (but a Malaysian endangered animal world!) so that our audience can view these issues as just issues and not through tinted-glasses that can be possibly fogged by prejudices and stereotypes.
The process of producing this series was therapeutic for the team because it was a process of us confronting our own elephants too. It was no wonder that later, a lot of our audience resonated with the topics that we put up. It just shows that there is a market gap here. People are indeed suffering or experiencing these things daily. Worse, they are suffering silently. With this series, we provide an outlet or even support to them.
This year, when we were planning to continue with season 2 of “Elephants in the Office”, the pandemic struck. The team had to stop working on the series entirely. The year had barely begun and yet the human world was in utter chaos. Like many, we were faced with uncertainty and existential crises. We were unsure if our shows could continue. However, every crisis is an opportunity. We realised our workplaces and companies are in for a huge change. Our usual habits are turned inside out. Our routine disrupted and altered. Our economical demands change. Companies needed to change to stay afloat. And now, suddenly, we have even more elephants to address! Even now, with some semblance to normalcy, things are not the same anymore in this New Normal.
As companies struggle, adjust and pivot, our workforce is introduced to revised job scopes, new work systems and schedules. Performance levels, mindsets and habits will change. With this in mind, we know we needed to work with more experts to look at more impactful topics because the elephants just got bigger! We are now working with 95%, the Business Culture Consultancy and together we tackle “Elephants in the New Normal” with renewed hope and pragmatism. We hope the series will help you to find some bearing in this stormy New Normal.