It’s now been over 18 months since our first lockdown here in the UK. I think we can all agree it’s been a challenging time, and of course it has& ;been harder for some than others. But rather than look back at all the things that we’ve missed out on or lost, let’s take a look at some of the things we’ve learnt during these odd times, and things that we would like to keep doing in the post-pandemic world!
The opportunity to be more remote
When offices shut in March 2020, we all had to adapt (very quickly!) to working from home. Now things are starting to open up and it’s great to have the opportunity to go back to the office, but it’s also great to maintain a certain level of flexibility to choose where we work, so we can decide the best working environment for ourselves.
Remote working means virtual meetings. Luckily after 18 months we all have the experience and confidence to hold meetings and events online. This has the added benefit of cutting down on unnecessary travel, a key step in our fight against climate change, which we are very passionate about. And now when face-to-face meetings and events are organized, you can (hopefully!) expect an engaging, dynamic and fulfilling experience that warrants the commute!
Getting back to nature
While most of us don’t miss commuting every day, being cooped up inside our homes is also not ideal. Which is why we have enjoyed spending time communing with nature over the last 18 months; walking in the park, sitting in the garden, little pockets of peace in the madness of the pandemic.
Appreciation for nature is definitely something we would like to take forward into post-pandemic life, to help us keep sane and fit in the long term!
Greater health awareness
Prior to the pandemic our ‘immune health’ was not something most of us really thought about. We would willingly go into the office when we weren’t feeling great or had cold and flu symptoms. But now, with a greater awareness, we’re more mindful, both with respect to our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of our family, friends, colleagues and others who we come into contact with.
The pandemic has also taught us to be more respectful of our mental health. Conversations around mental health have become more common, and we are starting to recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health, which can only be a good thing.
More empathy for the people around us
No one has escaped the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this shared experience has made us more understanding of what people may have going on in their life beyond work, and perhaps made us more forgiving when people take a little time to respond to a message.
Let’s hope this increased compassion for the people around us continues, in work and out, so that moving forward we maintain a higher level of empathy.
Communication, communication, communication
Without being able to just pop over to a colleague’s desk, workplace communication has certainly evolved during the pandemic. From better onboarding comms to more regular all-agency meetings, working remotely has made it even more important to effectively communicate with employees and colleagues.
And aside from more formal comms, jumping onto a video call for a quick chat with a colleague and virtual socials have allowed us to maintain a personal connection even away from the office.
On top of these things we want to keep doing, there are also a few things we’re happy to keep NOT doing after COVID:
- Having a pocket full of change – hygiene concerns at the beginning of the pandemic made a lot of establishments go cashless, and we’re happy to not have to bother with cash and coins
- The daily commute – swapping the early starts and packed tube for a lie in and a few steps to the desk…what’s not to like
- Dressing for the office every day – it’s pretty nice getting dressed in the morning not having to worry about whether what we choose is suitable for the office or will impress in the right meetings. Most of the time now we just have to worry about how we look from the neck up, which means we can dress more or less however we want
So while the last 18 months have certainly been a challenge, at least we can say that there are some positive learnings we would like to take forward with us in the post-pandemic world!