Don’t dwell on what we USED to do. Focus on what we CAN do.
19 July 2021 was referred to as Freedom Day. A day to recognise the fact that we’re closer to getting life back to how it was before the pandemic struck. But is this really what we want? Or do we want something different now?
Our usual life paused for 18 months. We were gifted with time and space to think. To think about alternative ways of doing things. To think about how we can do things better.
Now is not the time to stop asking questions, this is the time to be asking more.
How would you describe the coronavirus pandemic?
Forget about its direct meaning. I’m thinking in terms of how it made us feel. It’s certainly been divisive, emotive, unsettling and at times stifling.
But these feelings are now starting to pass as we enter this unknown post-covid landscape. So, what do we replace them with? This unprecedented juncture in our history is the perfect time to stop, reflect and acknowledge that society has the ability to change. Maybe now is the time that we embrace change – not fear it.
As the negative feelings start to pass, many of us may be hit with pangs of nostalgia realising that our usual way of life may never fully return but equally be filled with pockets of optimism for an even brighter future.
Did we find a new respect for things we took for granted?
The two most precious resources any organisation has is its people and time. Without talented people, businesses will fail, and when time runs out it’s gone forever.
We learned to respect time more as we found ways to create boundaries between work and our home life – admittedly I think it’s fair to say we can all get better at this. But for many, lockdown was the first time they’d spent days with their family without the need for the usual commute.
And we learned more about our colleagues than ever before. During virtual meetings, we invited team members into our homes to get an insight into our true selves. I was all for seeing pets and children wander into our new home offices – after all, these are the things that make us who we are.
Did the pandemic accelerate the inevitable?
The technology was there already, waiting for us to unlock its potential. This made the transition from working from a physical workspace to our homes a lot easier.
In my opinion business owners should be cautiously observing the results of remote working and asking for continual feedback about our new ways of working. While many may be more than happy to work from home at the moment, we can’t remove ourselves from the fact that this is still quite a novelty and at some point, we may start to crave social interaction. Maybe it’s not just choice we need, but flexibility. At different points in our lives, we may need different scenarios.
Businesses who offer flexibility, and are now managing a mix of office workers and remote workers, will need to get creative to keep their culture alive. To prevent a ‘them and us’ situation isn’t going to be easy.
Are we more supportive of each other?
I’d like to think so. Probably for the first time we understood what others have going on in their lives. We learned more about those we work with as we travelled the same undetermined path.
But I can’t help thinking that it shouldn’t have taken a global pandemic for us to get to know this stuff about each other. Businesses and institutions are introducing more and more coloured lanyards so we can better support each other; most of us know about the sunflower lanyards for people with hidden disabilities, but do we all know what the others mean – and do we all know how to offer support?
Surely, when it comes down to it, wouldn’t it be easier if we were to be considerate to everyone and show respect at all times?
Did we uncover previously hidden leadership qualities?
Most definitely. I’ve worked for organisations where kindness and nurturing qualities were considered a weakness. Yes really! But during the pandemic I saw people oozing consideration, compassion, and empathy, these were the ones willing to give up their time to listen to the concerns of others and offer advice. Such soft skills are essential for today’s leadership teams.
I would urge all businesses to take a look at their workforce. Who stepped up and focussed on the health and mental wellness of others? These are characteristics to be applauded.
Are we getting better when it comes to asking for help?
I truly hope so. I hope that people will now speak up if they need extra support without feeling like they’re being judged. I hope we now realise that we are after all … human. We have so many strengths, but we’re vulnerable too.
Let’s ask more questions as we move forward
The team here at Good Comms have been asking each other, and ourselves, lots of questions. All with the aim of better serving our clients.
We’ve pretty much nailed the practicalities of working remotely. Presenting concepts and ideas remotely is now a slick affair. And our video conferencing hosting skills are top notch.
To meet the needs of our clients we’re experienced in having to be agile and adapting to change quickly. We can think on our feet – often outside of the box. So, in this sense we were lucky. We weren’t fazed by change.
But we’re wondering if this is enough. What else can we do to better support our clients?
To help us on our mission to continually improve, and deliver the ultimate service, feel free to get in touch. After all, the future is ours to share.