When it comes to summing up a year with a phrase, “Hindsight is 2020,” is perhaps one of the best. In looking back at this time in 2019, very few people had heard about a virus in China. Even fewer understood the potential for the virus turning into a global pandemic.
It may be tempting to see 2020 as a write-off year, where businesses hunkered down and tried to make the best of a bad situation. However, this is missing a significant opportunity to reflect on some inspiring examples of ingenuity, response to challenge, and coming together that highlight the best aspects of this difficult time.
Going from In-Person to Remote Work
Many companies and businesses, from small to international, resisted the idea of remote work for years. In the early months of 2020, and for many companies over just a few days or weeks, most of the non-production aspects of the business transitioned to 100% remote work.
In hindsight, this is a change that companies could have made for workers years ago. Through the need to do this transition in the pandemic, companies may find lower costs, increased employee satisfaction, and increased employee retention by offering safe, secure, and remote work from home opportunities.
This year, many companies learned to be flexible. They proposed ideas outside of the box, changing old ways of doing things for more efficient production and processing options to keep up with demand.
The Essential Worker
One fundamental shift in thinking through 2020 is the definition of a critical or essential worker. Recognizing that many of the lowest paid jobs in our society were the essential jobs to keep the economy going was eye-opening for many.
It was also a year to recognize these individuals who often go unnoticed. This included medical and health workers, truckers, grocery store clerks, food and beverage production employees, teachers, garbage and water services, and a range of other jobs throughout the community.
The Importance of Human Connections
Perhaps one of the most significant takeaways from 2020 is the importance of human connections. It is about staying close to family and friends and staying connected with neighbors, colleagues, and acquaintances.
Too often, people get caught up in the business of being in business. They forget about the human side of the company, which includes leadership teams, managers, employees, and also customers and community members.
Hopefully, one of the positives to come out of the challenges and difficulties of COVID-19 will be to prioritize these connections. Highlighting the focus on the interpersonal aspects of business, family connections, and friendships at all levels will continue to create a better relationship for all.