A year into the pandemic and many people are feeling the effects of being locked down for such a long time. It can be difficult to see any kind of positive that this strange year has brought to our day-to-day. But there are certainly some benefits from this sudden shift in how we go about our daily lives that some may not have noticed yet.
Casual Work Wear
Gone have been the days of getting suited and booted, running for the tube in heels and waking up earlier than usual to perfect your hair and make up for a big meeting. Since the pandemic sent everyone packing up their office desks and setting up shop at home, the pressure for office attire is off, and the pyjamas are on. Okay maybe pyjamas won’t be encouraged, but one benefit of the current situation is certainly the ability to dress down for work.
A More ‘Human’ Side to Business
Another benefit of the current working climate is the more ‘human’ side that it has brought to businesses. Everyone is in this together, feeling the same and all experiencing a pretty similar working situation. Children have been at home being homeschooled, diets and fitness routines have slipped and make-shift office spaces have been propped up in living rooms, dining rooms or bedrooms. Now, it’s not unusual to be on a zoom meeting only to be disturbed by your children or the dog barking at the postman. This comforting human side to business has helped to create some forms of connection and rapport in a current world that can at times feel very lonely.
Focus on Competence rather than Presentation
Following on from the previous two points, the pressure and focus on presentation has in some ways been alleviated. Now, we are seeing employees being recognised for their competence and skill alone, rather than simply how they present themselves. As a result, it has been a great opportunity for those who struggle with face to face meetings to really thrive in their roles.
More Flexible Working
Flexible working has been gaining traction in many countries over the years. A lot of companies have been trying to introduce ways of flexible working in order to appeal to employees. Whether that was working from home one day a week, flexible working hours, or 4 day working weeks. There were plenty of companies introducing these features to their company’s roles. The pandemic has pretty much forced every company to get its employees working from home. Similarly, it has encouraged the opportunity for location-free working – allowing people to log on and work nomadically from anywhere in the world. These flexibilities are a great appeal for employees, and can even help with productivity and motivation.
A better work-life balance
More flexible working as a result of the pandemic has in turn had a great impact on employees work-life balance. Although it can be argued that throughout lockdowns we don’t have much of a ‘life’, working from home allows you to finish on time, without a commute, and get stuck straight into whatever you enjoy doing in your spare time. Daily exercise has also become important for many as it has been our only chance to get outside, and so many people have taken up exercising before work or during their lunch break, where they may not have done pre-pandemic.
More attention on employee mental health
Probably the best topic that has gained huge momentum during the pandemic has been the mental health of employees. This strange time has affected so many people, from personal loss to isolation and loneliness, mental health is being talked about like never before. This has highlighted the importance for employers to take a better approach to support the mental health of their staff.
The pandemic has been tough on everyone, grinding our lives to a halt and disrupting the way things once were. It can be tough to see any positives when we are living in a limbo of lockdowns, scary statistics and conflicting news stories every day. However, changes have already been put in place that will affect our lives positively in years to come, both at home and at work. Hopefully, that is a silver lining that many can hold on to throughout the midst of uncertainty.