When I find myself thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic, my mind wanders far and wide.
Now, almost 2 months into working from home, I have decided that instead of thinking about what I can't control (and those who know me, know I love to know what's happening at all times), I am going to think of the opportunities.
How we live, how we interact and how we work has undeniably changed. We're in hibernation and like anything that hibernates we soon too will wake up and slowly get back to life and our 'new normal.'
The crisis has shown me that it is an opportunity for individuals and companies to reinvent themselves. It's a chance to sit back, reflect and look at how we have operated until now.
When do we ever truly get this opportunity?Instead of waiting for COVID-19 to go away, let's face this new reality and see what silver linings lay ahead.
Staying Positive in a Crisis
1. Stronger relationships - even from afar
Even though we are very much apart, there is a sense that we are ever more connected, and communication is at its peak.
The extent of companies remote working has accelerated hugely, and the great sense is we must enhance our relationships and stay connected.
In Cpl, we have been placing a big focus on 'stayingconnected.' It's our most important goal throughout this difficult time and it has been fantastic. We have team quizzes, bake-offs, online Pilates, HIIT Sessions, Steps competitions and movie nights - all excellent for mental health and retaining our company culture.
We have also been heavily investing in keeping in constant contact with our customers, to offer advice, support and guidance in any way that we can.
Virtual Interviews, virtual onboarding, leadership webinars and training have enhanced our ability to connect with our customers with effectiveness and ease. Yet if you had of told me at the start of this year any of the above was possible, I would have been sceptical.
Our recent Virtual Career Fair was also so powerful in ensuring we facilitated support with candidates that may have been furloughed of temporarily laid off to act as a partner in navigating through options that they may, during this time. We are always connected.
2. Confidence in your people and technology
Having been told on March 13th that we wouldn't be back in the office on Monday came as quite a shock. Like every other company, we had to react immediately and adapt to working from home. Up until this time flexible working has been slow to the uptake, which always confused me.
A huge positive is that we have now proved that working from home can work and productivity, delivery and engagement remains high.
This has reinforced to leadership teams all over the world that their employee's, resilience, reliability and capabilities are just as pronounced when working from home.
As for technology, I have found myself more than surprised with how adaptable we all are. A few months ago, if you told me I would solely be relying on MS Teams for all of my interactions I would have said 'No WAY'.
I always found ways to avoid using it but here we all are fully embracing this new world and adapting to its daily changes.
3. New perspectives and solutions
For a long time, we've been in a bubble and a race against time to do 101 things in any given day. We wanted to excel not just at one thing, but everything - work, relationships, friendships, health, fitness, travels.
Now, we have time for reflection as the world has put all of our actions on hold for us. With this the trees and flowers are in fuller bloom, animals are remerging, and our planet feels like it is healing and so should we.
What previous downturns have shown us is that things tend to not stay the same and that change is OK. Maybe you have been thinking of upskilling or realigning your business strategy but felt too safe where you are. This is the perfect time to explore those possibilities, identify your values and career ambitions.
Although this crisis is like no other, we have witnessed in our lifetimes - there are positives to take. Take a deep breath, spend quality time with those who matter to you and embrace the silver linings.