GUEST COLUMN: Gordon Innocent, RGB Communications on the changes Covid-19 has forced on us all

Before I talk about the opportunities that it represents, I’d like to spare a thought for those who have lost loved ones, friends, their jobs, and those who have suffered from, or are suffering from, Covid-19 itself.

Us adults probably haven’t found lockdown too tough, but our children, who probably thought it was all going to be fun, have found distance learning difficult. Stuck in front of a screen all day, having to learn self-discipline and get organised overnight. They have been unable to play their favourite sports and are isolated from their friends. We on the other hand, have a better quality of life to look forward to. Now we can be trusted to work from home, and have the kit to do so, allowing us a great deal more flexibility. Less traveling, with reduced expenses, and more time at home.

Many of us can potentially work from anywhere. Less traveling means a greener environment too.

Businesses will be benefitting from less office space, travel expenses and company cars/allowances. A key benefit from reduced traveling, will be more time. Sales people who have learned to use the technology well, and are able to engage
their clients over video meetings, will be able to conduct many more productive meetings.

The traditional field sales role, seeing just 2 or 3 people a day, is potentially gone forever.

There will always be a place for face-to-face meetings though and I look forward to when we can start to do that again safely.
Thanks to the government, furloughing has saved many jobs. It has also helped to show us that we can actually manage with less people than we thought we needed. I’m very proud of the people we did not furlough, they have all stepped up to the plate and shown what a small, motivated, hardworking team can generate.

Most of us thought that in-classroom training was essential. Well, it isn’t. We have got pretty good at delivering online training now. Those wishing to learn can now do so without investing so much time and money to achieve it. If it has been recorded too, then training can fit around our busy schedules. So, large training rooms and all the associated equipment are far less necessary. Yes, good hands-on practical training will always be required although I feel that the virtual workaround has meant that standards have been kept up throughout 2020.

Whilst some doors, such as those for large events, are shut for now, others have opened wider. Larger displays, more flexible conferencing environments, better WiFi networks, and video conferencing kits for home and the office. People spending more time at home means more focus on the quality of their home networks, entertainment, lighting and security.
A vaccine, when it becomes available to everyone, will certainly improve our lives, enable schools and business to re-open fully, However, many of the changes are here to stay,so let’s embrace them.

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