As we’re emerging from lockdown and easing back into the world it’s interesting to look at the new behaviours that could improve our lives in the future – and what we’ll be happy to leave behind.
Remote working – this is the big one and there has been a lot of focus on it. Companies can no longer claim that productivity has to suffer and many more people will be working for part of the week from home. This will have a really positive impact not only on work / life balance for individuals and families, but also on the wider transport system and environment as collectively there will be a significant impact on the number of journeys taken each week.
But also…. the joys of office working – despite the advantages of working from home many workers are keen to get back to the office at least part time. The company culture, camaraderie, feeling of teamwork and shared endeavour are all stronger and more accessible when we’re physically together.
Busy = important? Let’s leave this one behind. I hope that the forced slower pace of the last few months helps us be more mindful about what we WANT to do and break the cycle of doing everything we CAN do just because it’s there. Stress as a status symbol seems a very old fashioned pose when we are surrounded by the horribly real issues provoked by Covid-19. Let’s keep focussing on productivity, not hours at the desk.
Customer service is JUST as important as we knew it was – as customers we’ve given companies the benefit of the doubt for months about long wait times for reduced support, but all the signs are there that we have had enough of poor customer service and want our issues resolved now! Businesses which acted with the best intentions to hastily adapt processes in order to keep afloat now need to accelerate when it comes to aligning those processes with customer satisfaction. Customer loyalty is more important than ever and businesses that are doing well in terms of both customer and employee engagement are very visible – these actions now will be remembered! Good Customer Experience is the KEY differentiator – and both successes and failures are widely shared.
Deliveries – I think we’ll all keep on shopping more online. The extra billions enjoyed by Jeff Bezos over the last few months as a result of Amazon’s success reflect the trend for taking advantage of the convenient and efficient access to almost everything we need, delivered to our door.
Cleaning – the rise of the anti-bac! I am sure that this will gradually relax and that hairdressers for example won’t need to ostentatiously wipe down each chair between clients – but it seems likely that we’ll all keep the habit of being more aware of keeping especially shared spaces a lot cleaner.
LinkedIn and virtual networking – LinkedIn particularly has seen a huge surge in networking as people use the platform to connect, build relationships and successfully find new roles. It’s great to see the support being offered – and the positive results will keep us all coming back for more.
Raised profile for health and care workers – they’ve always been appreciated but now they are rightly celebrated. Let’s hope (and lobby for) better pay and conditions for these sectors in the future.
Pets – lots of people have used the time at home as an opportunity to get a cat or dog, knowing they can spend the time training and socialising them. I hope that the pets will adapt as we go back to work, they might find the adjustment difficult at first, but hopefully a new balance of home and office working will ensure success.
Community and creativity – we’ve found different ways to be sociable and communities have found many ways of supporting each other. From making phone calls, delivering food and prescriptions, timed celebrations on VE day and the clap for carers bringing us together, to hyper local seed swaps for people spending more time in their gardens – hopefully some of these links will endure.
Recruitment – we’re talking to people all the time in different sectors and waiting to see how this will change. Many companies are coming to the end of recruitment freezes and looking to solve their own new problems. Customer Experience looks likely to be more important than ever as people are more careful with their spending and each buying experience matters for products and services across the board.
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