16 Jul, 2020
About 4 months ago, the UK was struck with the consequences of the Coronavirus. Everything went into lockdown. For a few weeks, the streets that used to be bustling with shoppers and site seers were like a ghost town. We, as a nation, had to change. It’s not over yet, but as we’re starting to see some life after isolation, perhaps it’s time to ask the question; have we learnt anything from the experience?
Back in May, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson told us that ‘the UK will be changed’. If there’s one thing we all have in common at the moment, it’s the shared experienced of change. It seems fitting that the first thing we’ve learnt from the pandemic is; adaptability.
Both businesses and individuals have endured major changes throughout the past few months. The UK has adapted well to the guidelines from the World Health Organisation, and is continuing to do so. At ISO Quality Services, we’ve learnt that the key to being dynamic and adaptable is to see change as opportunity. We haven’t just accepted change, we’ve embraced it.
The services that we offer are generally delivered in a face-to-face environment, which is also true of many businesses. Since this isn’t possible anymore, we’ve brainstormed the ways in which we can continue to trade. We’ve adapted our service delivery so that it can be done completely remote now, using different digital tools and creativity.
From a personal perspective, adapting to the isolation and social distancing aspect has been difficult for everyone. To embrace the change, we’ve been utilising social networks and other online communication methods to stay in touch with our friends and family. There has been tremendous growth in online communities and people have been sharing tips and advice regarding physical activity, healthy eating, learning of new skills and more. In one sense, this has been an opportunity to personally develop.
Another lesson we’ve all learnt fairly quickly is that communication being key is a cliché, but undoubtedly a great one. Have you ever realised how much you take for granted being able to speak face to face with someone without wearing a mask or being two metres apart? If lockdown didn’t bring that to light for you, I don’t think anything will!
Arguably, communication became a lot harder when people started isolating from their friends and family and working from home, but it’s become a lot more regular as well. Businesses have had to delve into new ways of collaborating remotely with their team, and us as individuals have had to optimise the technology we are blessed with in order to stay sane and supported.
At ISO QSL, we began regular catch up calls with our team on working days to boost productivity and efficiency of working. Combining both communication and adaptability, when our team became accustomed to working in the remote environment, we found it necessary to reduce these meetings so that they’d remain useful to the team.
The third and final lesson we’ve learnt is that certain qualities in daily life, without question, are essential. Two of which are; sensitivity and optimism. We’ve learnt that these two qualities need to shine through everything we do as a business and as individuals. For example, contacting existing and potential clients, posting on social media, sharing information through writing blogs and communicating with the internal team all require compassion and positivity. We’ve seen an influx of uplifting and inspiring content on social networks and websites due to the unforeseen circumstances. What’s more, a survey of 80,000 adults in the UK told us that they are more worried about their mental health than their physical health being affected by the virus. This indicates that most people weren’t emotionally prepared for this, so it is evident that the support we’re seeing online is useful and necessary.
To conclude, the lesson that encompasses all of the above is that community is everything. Whether for you that means family, friends, neighbours, work, online… the definitions are interchangeable and they’re all important. So yes, the UK will be changed by this experience, but hopefully we’ll come out of the other side feeling more grateful, more generous, more connected with each other, and feeling confident that if this ever happens again, we know what we have to do.
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