COVID-19 is the first recession I have experienced in my career, with the World Bank expecting its impact to be double of 2009’s financial crisis’, possibly giving us the worst global recession since World War II. If that is the case, how can we better prepare ourselves for it?
I still remember joining the first CEO update back in March, along with colleagues from across our global offices. That marked the beginning of the new normal. “We will get out of this crisis stronger than ever”, a powerful message that was not only reassuring but also motivating in terms of the benefits of overcoming such crisis.
To address the newly arose health concerns, changes were made in the workplace, which I found rather intriguing. Collaboration, flexibility, inclusion, and accountability are things organisations have been talking about for years. And thanks to the coronavirus, these agendas have been fast-tracked and this new future may be upon us sooner rather than later. Take remote working policy as an example, while it has been a hot topic for many years, it has been held back by many concerns around feasibility and productivity, until the recent lockdown has proved otherwise.
I would have never imagined myself in a conference call with over a hundred colleagues, sharing our experience and knowledge. That was truly an eye-opening experience. The bonds forged between different global offices are stronger than ever, with regular updates, online Learning & Development sessions, as well as wellness activities like cooking classes, yoga sessions, pub quizzes and even our very own DJ to help celebrate Happy Fridays!
The level of collaboration and internal communication has not only contributed to increased job satisfaction but is also leading to greater productivity. To me, it has demonstrated that “work is not just a place you go, it is a thing you do”, and no matter where we are, we know that we will be trusted.
The “new normal” is not simply about remote work, it is much better than that. This pandemic has allowed companies to review their policies and better equip themselves for the future. And with much confidence, I can say that we are getting out of the crisis stronger than ever, with greater communication, greater productivity, and even greater job satisfaction.