Post Covid Era

When things are tough, we rise up. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. We never imagined spring 2020 would be like this. The COVID-19 pandemic has been frustrating, frightening, distressing and disruptive. It’s also been challenging, ever-changing and confusing. The second half of 2020 looks very different to how most of us will have pictured it six months ago. Having emerged from the initial phase of the coronavirus crisis, we’re now firmly in adjustment mode, as well as adapting to new working environments and processes — a long-term change for many — organizations are having to adjust approaches to everything from communications to employee wellbeing. And yet, while it’s been all those things, it’s also quietly drawn out the positive side of many situations. Throughout it all, there have been poignant reminders that when you look for the good, you find it. While we can all agree that maintaining social distancing, wearing face masks and staying put can feel like a loss, we’re also experiencing more of a few things that we hope stick around long after the pandemic is over:

More Teamwork — If there’s ever been a time when working closely with teammates and peers helps the greater good, it’s now. Although maintaining physical social distance, the feeling of togetherness now is stronger than ever. Getting through a pandemic is easier, happier and more bearable with a great team and group of friends by your side. Amplify the positives and celebrate what’s going well. Highlighting where individuals have stepped up or gone the extra mile with customers or colleagues goes a very long way to boosting engagement — and encourages repeated positive behaviors.

More Simplicity – A simple letter received in the mail is appreciated even more now than before. Every moment of a simple video call is relished between two best friends who can’t see each other in person.

Embrace a digitally equipped workforce–Technology has meant the difference between surviving and thriving for many organizations during the crisis. The rise of AI and robotics to help make work tasks and some customer interactions more efficient is not going to go away. Organizations that see technology as an enabler of communication, regardless of their structure or location, are those that will thrive as we emerge into a new working ‘normal’.

Lesson taught — The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us several lessons. The first is that we can no longer continue with the ruthless exploitation of nature. The climate crisis, erratic weather phenomena, pollution of air, land and ocean have pushed the country, and the world, to a dangerous brink. Unless this is reversed immediately, we are in for serious trouble by the end of the century. It is extraordinary that the lockdown period has led to nature regenerating. We saw blue skies again after many decades, pollution levels dropped, and several species of animals, birds and insects staged a comeback. We must try and ensure that these positive developments are sustained so that we do not revert to the old normal, but adopt a new normal vis-à-vis nature. The second lesson is that we need a drastic restructuring of health and education. If the country does not strengthen these sectors, all plans of becoming a world-class power are doomed to fail.

While we’d rather not have had to experience this pandemic in the first place, we can certainly shift our perspective to one of appreciation for the silver linings and the good it brought out in us. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally shifted what we believe to be normal, and the impacts will be felt for a long time to come. But as we have seen time and again, necessity drives new behaviors, many of which are ones we can learn from and hold on to. Stay safe.

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