From switching to 100% remote working to learning new hobbies, lockdown has forced us all to adapt our lifestyles at lightning speed. And now that we’re moving out of lockdown, we’ll have to adapt once again.
But returning to “how things were” is unlikely to be the way forward. Indeed, just 9% of people surveyed in a YouGov poll said they want to return to a pre-pandemic normal. And it’s not hard to see why. Positive side effects, such as more time with family and on hobbies, a stronger sense of community, and healthier eating have emerged as a result of our mandatory adjustments. Many of these changes can be attributed to the shift to remote working; it frees the time and energy that’d normally be used on lengthy commutes to be channelled into more meaningful pursuits.
Now is a good opportunity to bring the positive habits forged during lockdown into post-lockdown life. Here are our top 3 habits to keep:
During the height of lockdown, as many as half of workers in the US and a third in the UK switched to 100% home working, according to data from Zapier and the ONS. And this flexibility is something that workers want to keep – 77% of people want to continue working remotely post-pandemic, according to a survey by Global Workplace Analytics.
Given that the misguided fears about remote working never actually came to fruition – and instead we saw productivity increase, employee engagement rise, and work-life balance improve – organisations have little excuse to revert back to the old ways of inflexibility.
This doesn’t mean the office should be abandoned altogether. The key takeaway here is that remote and flexible working gives staff more choice and autonomy over their own time, allowing them to work in a way that utilises their talents best.
Personal and professional development
Since lockdown, many of us have been spending our extra time indoors learning something new. This has resulted in some enlightening new hobbies, from learning how to bake your own sourdough to understanding the principles of quantum computing (our very own CTO Mike Christian can account for that one!)
It’s also given people the chance to boost their career with training and upskilling. A survey by LinkedIn Learning found that 48% want to use online learning to advance their career path, 40% want to gain deeper knowledge into their industry, and 37% want to succeed in their current role.
Prioritise your personal and professional development, even when usual routines start to return. Signing up to e-learning courses at work – and at home – is an easy and accessible way to do this and keep the momentum going.
Being kind and thankful
The pandemic has brought out some amazing, human qualities, most notably kindness and appreciation. The streets have been painted with rainbows, people have adorned their windows with messages of thanks, and the “we’re all in this together” mantra has prevailed.
Keep up the kindness, compassion, and empathy that’s been guiding us through the pandemic and bring this into your work and home life. Take the time to recognise your colleagues for a job well done, lend a supportive ear to someone who’s struggling, and help out a neighbour with the shopping; these acts of kindness will do the world of good, as well as nurture that all-important community spirit.