It’s been a tricky old year hasn’t it! Almost every single country in the world has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic – for once we have all been united.
In the UK, we were in complete lockdown for over three months, and now we are in a kind of limbo. Shops are open, we can eat at restaurants and it’s relatively okay to use public transport. But everything is different too. Lots of us still can’t go into work, we have to steer clear of other people, and we definitely can’t leave the house without a mask in our pocket. We are slowly, moving into ‘the new normal’.
As a collective, we have an incredible opportunity now. The new normal is exactly that – new. It’s time to shake things up and put new ideas into the hat. This is our chance to rewrite life as we knew it. Change doesn’t happen by itself – we have to speak up, make conscious choices, and keep working on it.
First up, is our work life balance. I want to see companies adopting flexible working wherever possible. We have proven that we can work just as hard from home, if not even harder. We’ve had to get used to new routines, processes and ways of working. I get it, sometimes it’s easier to be in the office for efficiency – for mixing up your day-to-day life, too. Two days a week in the office, and three days at home? Yes, that would be great.
I also want employers to value the physical and mental wellbeing of their staff like never before. Employee wellbeing was a term that was being bandied around in most workplaces before Covid-19. ‘We want you to eat lunch outside but simultaneously fit 12 hours of work into an 8 hour day…’ Sound familiar? Lockdown has been hard on our wellbeing, and we’ve gradually adjusted. It’s vital that we don’t go back to the way things were. If your employer appreciates you, they will appreciate that you need to look after yourself too.
We shall never again take our health, and the health of our loved ones, for granted. We know that the choices we make now, will affect our long-term health. On this theme, I would love us to continue implementing rest and self-care into our routine. They will both be so important as we return to our busy, sometimes stressful, lives.
Let’s be okay with spending time by ourselves, not always running away from our problems. Let’s support our local businesses and show gratitude to our key workers who’ve kept the world going. Let’s be thankful if we haven’t lost our jobs and can keep earning money.
Value your friendships and take this opportunity to make new ones, if you’ve realised that you need a bigger support system where you are. Keep cherishing your local community – especially if you live in a big city. Sometimes the people right next door need a little help, but we only noticed that in a global pandemic
It’s time to forget about the “way we’ve always done it” argument. It’s just not valid anymore! Take a second to think about what you want to see in ‘the new normal’. Now go out and make it happen.