The outbreak of COVID19 created a burning platform for thousands of businesses all over the globe, driven by it’s very instant impact it forced organisations to pivot from how they have behaved for years to a place of uncertainty and survival. I believe many of the changes that have been instigated due to the pandemic will be here to stay, as businesses and people have proved that relationships and work can be done remotely with the same level of success.
Below I explore the 4 key changes that will remain post COVID19 & why I believe will be here to stay.
I’ve always been a believer that organisations should measure the performance of their people on output and not necessary the number of hours that they spend in the office. The 3-month lockdown in the UK forced companies to allow their people to work from home, the old perception that if you weren’t at your desk you weren’t working was challenged in a way that it had never been before. Leaders of a certain ilk were forced to loosen the reins and let people work out of sight. Did this result in a catastrophic downturn in production and output, absolutely not the whole parent, child relationship that a lot of businesses and leaders perpetrated was stripped away, people were treated like adults, had greater control over where, when and how they worked.
I believe it’s be criminal for organisations to go back to the way they were when the old clocking in mentality was very prevalent and trust wasn’t the currency that a lot of leaders traded in.
If the COVID19 lockdown has proved one thing it’s that the more leaders trust their people, the more accountability that’s given and the less people are micromanaged the better they feel and as a consequence the better they perform.
Who’d have thought 7 months ago that’d platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet would become so ingrained in how we go about our daily working lives. Everything from meetings to coffee catch ups to pub quizzes have been moved from the face to face to environment to the virtual space. Personally, I feel there have been both benefits and impacts of this.
First for the benefits, one of which I feel is the positive impact on the environment the reduced traffic on the roads around the world have seen some amazing things happen from the famous smog clearing in Shanghai to the waters running clear in the canals of Venice. There is also now no need to spend wasted hours in cars driving to meetings or appointments it’s now really clear that all the interactions can be done by the video conferencing facilities we all now have at our finger tips.
Obviously, there’s been enormous impact on our physical and mental wellbeing something that technology no matter how good can’t solve. We are all by our very nature social creatures and the need to isolate either collectively or individually has had an enormous impact on our global community, everything we had taken for granted for decades disappeared overnight, friends and loved ones became more distant.
So whilst we have embraced technology and the benefits it brings nothing will replace the feeling of holding a loved one.
Work & Life Balance
It feels like we’ve been banging on about how important for without ever actually achieving it, the enforced lockdown at the end of March in the UK forced leaders and businesses to focus on more than just profit and loss and to acknowledge that having parents and children at home at the same time forced a completely different dynamic. People put a greater onus on their children’s education and mental wellbeing. I did a daily basketball challenge with my two boys and it got us all out of the house for ten minutes every morning before they started their school work & I continued working on my evolution to the change partner.
My belief is as people continue to work from home, they’ll find greater flexibility to deliver what’s required whilst spending time with family. The removal of the daily commute for some has also enabled people to be more effective in less time, again releasing time for the essentials in life such as family & personal time.
Having additional time on your hands is certainly a symptom of the restricted movement we’ve had to experience over the last few months. To fill this time people have picked up hobbies such as baking sour dough bread, knitting, learning a language, or practicing yoga. Personally I’ve been learning Italian for the last 7 months and I’ve got to the level of molto nella media (very average) I’ve also discovered a love for Yin Yoga which I now practice 4 times a week to compensate for my creaking and aging body. My personal belief is people will continue with this because why wouldn’t you.
Personally, both have helped me become in tune with passions I’d never previously considered and as a result I feel I’m a more rounded and calmer person.
For now, thanks for reading my blog and I hope you’ll explore some of the other content I’ve produced.
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“Nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to change. Being is always becoming. – BuddhaRank MathGeneral