I know many of us have been looking forward to enjoying 2021. A new year and a fresh start from the unprecedented year 2020 was, and the unforeseen effects Covid-19 had on the workforce and our personal lives.
It is inevitable that there may be some hurdles to jump around 2021, however, many positives have resulted from the significant challenges business owners, teams and families faced throughout last year. LMHR Consulting, working so closely with businesses and teams on culture, have seen many positives (as well as the challenges), and have detailed just a few below:
Work-Life Blending / Wellbeing
Without a doubt, a suitable blend of work and home is fundamental to a healthy and happy life, especially when it comes to appropriately balancing work life and personal life. With the majority of businesses shutting down the office in 2020, changing tact around workplaces, and increasing online work from home, there was a relaxation of traditional workplace rules that many businesses still followed. Whether it be the flexible working hours from home, the ability to sleep-in (a little!) as the need to drive through traffic or make our train in time was put on pause, or the comfortable and casual home clothes we have all been caught in, in many ways it has brought us back to the flexible working environment many of us crave. Yes there have been lots of challenges in navigating Covid-19 and working from home, particularly for those who are sharing houses with others in small spaces, however, it is forcing us to look at what is important, how we can pivot to what we need and ask for what is important to us.
My LMHR Consulting Team consists heavily of a team that need flexibility to thrive in their personal lives (me included!). We have been very grateful for the positives that our clients and businesses around us have seen with introducing more flexibility. Many businesses who found flexible working difficult previously are now seeing the advantages of it and therefore have changed their views and future working arrangements with their teams. This is a huge positive that has come out of Covid-19.
Greater Use of Technology
There is no doubt that the pandemic has allowed businesses and individuals to adapt to and increase the use of technology in order to proceed and carry out workplace activities that were usually face-to-face. Whether it be virtual video calls, an increase of emailing and communication, substantial access to information or carrying out workplace activities online, the increase of technology within the workforce has been of great benefit to all teams, including mine! Of course, greater use and knowledge of the digital community and technology is needed within the workplace, as it is the way of the future, and the increase of communication technology throughout organisations this year has been of great benefit to the current and future practices of businesses.
For the LMHR Team, Zoom and other forums have been our go-to methods of communication, and have proven to be such effective approaches to ensure we continue feeling connected and continue to operate as a highly functional HR team. However, it is not just the technology, it is how we plan to connect with the team and keep it consistent and authentic that it keeps the communication channels and relationships growing.
Building Genuine Relationships
The pandemic and stay-at-home orders has had a lot of people realise that they possibly have been too busy to develop and build genuine workplace or personal relationships. However, perhaps unexpectedly, the pandemic has allowed us all to connect more/differently within our work and personal relationships. Whether it be virtually, or within our homes, the world has found ways to remain connected with others, and work through the uncertainties of the year together – a beautiful reflection of what I believe – human nature will always draw us close through hardships.
During 2020, the LMHR team actually welcomed three new employees, Christine Robinson, our new Senior HR Consultant, and Chante El-Zoghbi, our very own Digital Content & Marketing Coordinator and an additional PA (who will be returning soon after a short pause). Despite the inability to be face to face when these three great women came on board, the connections we have made with them through digital outlets and communication mediums have still allowed for genuine work relationships to be built. This is something we have actually believed and encouraged for a long time, prior to the pandemic.
So, if you are still working remotely, or have part of the team working remotely, as the pandemic chops and changes, make sure you celebrate the wins and special occasions. It can be done genuinely and remotely if needed!
Although 2020 was definitely a challenge for all, there have absolutely been a lot of positive outcomes to come out of it, both from a professional perspective and within our personal lives. I hope you can draw on these positives and collectively carry them throughout this new year and beyond. Some things we will still need to navigate however we can do it together.
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