23rd March marks the anniversary of England’s first national lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. One year on and we’ve been living with some form of restrictions in place ever since. It’s undoubtedly been the biggest disruption to ‘normal’ life that most people will have experienced in their lifetimes, along with the huge impact on businesses, the economy and the education of our young people.
With the wheels now in motion on the roadmap out of lockdown, we’re hopeful that the latter part of 2021 will be filled with all the things we’ve missed over the last year; relaxing meals out, after-work drinks in the pub, weddings, holidays and hugs from loved ones!
But as we approach this milestone, we’ve been reflecting on the lessons that have been learnt over the last year.
We love technology
Facetime calls, Zoom quizzes, unlimited Netflix bingeing, online shopping and virtual workplaces. Just a few of the reasons that technology has become (even more) a part of our day to day lives.
For some businesses, it’s been the catalyst to invest in the necessary infrastructure to enable their teams to work remotely; which will provide ongoing flexibility to some employees, reducing commuting time, better work/life balance and even increasing productivity.
We miss human contact
For all the benefits of technology, we’ve also learnt that, as humans, there’s no substitute for spending time with family and friends face to face. Working from home can feel lonely, especially for those who already live alone or have started a new job over the last year.
The old saying goes ‘people buy from people'; here at Ambitions, we pride ourselves on taking the time to really get to know our clients and what makes their organisation tick. We can’t wait to get back out and visit our client’s sites as soon as it’s safe to do so.
We are flexible
In a year that has seen an unprecedented situation play out with many twists and turns along the way, we’ve had to navigate restrictions, support bubbles, home-schooling, shielding, periods of self-isolation, the furlough scheme and a tier system.
All these things were unimaginable a little over a year ago! But we’ve made it through. This mind-set of adaptability and flexibility is something we hope will continue in the future. Pre-pandemic some businesses were better than others at considering the personal circumstances of their workforce and the fact that many employees juggle multiple roles as parents and carers alongside being an employee too. In many ways, the disconnect caused by the pandemic has really brought our basic human needs to the forefront of everyone's awareness.
Nothing is more important than your health and wellness
Through all the negatives, the Coronavirus outbreak has really shined a light on the importance of health and wellbeing. It became clear that individuals in better condition physically are likely to fair better if they do contract the virus, but it’s also reinforced the need to keep your mental health in check too.
As exercise options were limited by the closure of gyms and team sports prohibited; programmes such as Couch to 5k have seen a rise in popularity. With more time to dedicate to keeping fit, we've heard lots of people reporting they're fitter than ever.
Embrace the simple pleasures
Before COVID-19 hit, many of us would spend our lives rushing around; juggling work, family life and social engagements. The lockdown has seen us spending more time at home, giving us time to slow down and appreciate the simple pleasures in life. The media is full of reports of hobbies such as cooking, crafts, gardening and home improvements on the rise as a result.
We think that spending more time doing what you enjoy is no bad thing at all and hope these habits of carving time out for ourselves when our busy schedules do resume remain long after the end of lockdown.
Britain is GREAT!
One of the biggest takeaways from a year on is that many of us have used our spare time to explore our local areas and found some hidden gems that we wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to discover through our regular ‘lockdown walks’.
With foreign holidays limited in the last year, the stay-cation was hugely popular with people flocking to UK beauty spots and coastline. It remains to be seen whether they’ll continue to be a trend in families opting for this type of break over a week in the Med, but it has certainly been a great reminder of everything our country has to offer.
We love our NHS!
We've always known we're lucky to have an amazing health service but no more so than throughout the last year.
NHS staff and other keyworkers have been selflessly and relentlessly working hard, risking their own lives to keep us safe and we are all so very grateful!