On the 31st of October 2019 the World Health Organisation (WHO) was informed of a pneumonia type virus with unknown cause that had been detected in Wuhan China.
It rapidly spread across the World, with the first UK cases confirmed on the 31st of January 2020.
On the 16th of March the Government mentioned ‘lockdown’ that now familiar word that has become part of global vocabulary, however it took until the 23rd of March before we were told we ‘must’ stay home.
“We’re all in this together….”
Within days the Bank of England cut interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25% and £330 million of loan guarantees were offered to businesses affected by the virus.
A few days later Rishi Sunak announced the Government would pay 80% of employee wages for those unable to work due to the pandemic, up to a maximum of £2500.00 per month.
‘We’re all in this together…’ was the rallying cry, unless you were a Director of a Limited Company then you get nothing….’in it together’ my ars*!
With people confined to their homes, Amazon emerged as one of the big business winners by announcing revenues of $75.4 billion for the first three months of 2020 a staggering $33 million an hour.
Working from home
By April 2020 46.6% of people did some form of work from home, 86% of those did so as a direct result of the Covid 19 pandemic. About a third of employees worked fewer hours than normal and a further third worked more, with more than half of people living in London doing some work from home.
The Zoom platform really took off. In March there were 200 million daily Zoom meeting participants, rising to 300 million the following month. A huge increase considering that during the previous December there were only 10 million daily Zoomers.
Whilst online meeting technology made it easier to communicate with customers or hold group team meetings it doesn’t necessarily mean it was ‘easy’.
Lack of familiarity with the software, technology and poor internet connection can make even the best planned meetings fail…. hands up if you’ve seen a meeting host nervously wait for people to sign in, not knowing whether to get the session underway or just wait another few minutes for them to turn up?
Do online meetings suit everyone?
An estimated third of the population are affected by ‘technophobia’ an abnormal anxiety or fear related to the affects and use of technology.
Anyone that has had a number of video calls during the day will know how they drain energy. Video calling requires more focus as we have to work harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, tone and pitch.
‘Opportunity nowhere’ or ‘Opportunity now here’?
Lockdown was eased on the 23rd of June and there started to be a glimmer of light (hope) at the end of the tunnel.
A recent major national survey has shown the lifting of lockdown is starting to have an impact on the UK economy as confidence is beginning to improve.
The latest Nat West Regional PMI for June showed falls in output slowing in most UK regions with some showing slight growth and firms feeling the worse is behind them… their focus is now on making up lost ground.
So, what next?
A common phrase heard during the dark days of lockdown was ‘We will bounce back…’. Think about that for a minute, do we really want to go back to how things were before lockdown? Or has lockdown been an opportunity for reflection and the recognition that new approaches to all aspects of our businesses are needed?
I’ve been involved in Learning and Development for over 20 years and have been fortunate to work within a variety of sectors, from small businesses to some of the World’s leading brands across global offices.
Challenging assumptions and encouraging participants to ‘think’ and ‘think differently’ are the underlying themes across all workshops delivered. So if you’ve ‘always done it that way….’ perhaps now is the time to re-visit and develop new approaches.
There are a number of ways that Train4Results could support your business:
- Evaluate/Develop new workshop content
- Train the Trainer sessions to enhance skills and develop new delivery techniques
- Map out new sales processes and enhance sales skills and approach
- Develop the Leadership skills required to manage in this ‘new’ normal
- 1 – 1 Coaching for business leaders/team members
It costs nothing to pick up the telephone (+44 333 772 0968) chat through your challenges and within a few minutes get a feel for our approach……let’s talk!
Phil Hook. Managing Director of Train4Results
(Video soundtrack courtesy of www.bensound.com)