The Silver Lining of the C-word

10 Apr by Alicia Vroegop

Teddy Covid

Covid-19 is not the first dark cloud to descend on humanity. There have been many that have gone before, and will be many to come. But as with all dark clouds, they cannot destroy the sun, only hide it away for a time. So for now, we focus on the silver linings, and there are plenty to be found. Here are a few that I, and my colleagues, have observed. Feel free to add to the list...

PATRIOTISM I have never been more proud to be a New Zealander. With a few exceptions for the ignorant and idiotic, we are collectively pulling together, making the sacrifices we all know are necessary to get through this quickly. We are being asked to stay at home for four weeks to protect the health and future of our nation. A worthy sacrifice when compared to the frightening alternative. Hopefully we have made our ancestors who sacrificed so much more in various wars, proud.

PURPOSE We are suppliers to an essential industry that employs over 100,000 New Zealanders, and for many of these businesses – they are considered an essential service, without whom there would be nothing in the supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals and now, home schooling supplies. We are proud to have supported the logistics and supply chain industry for 25 years, and if things go well we are looking forward to continuing this worthwhile work. Remember: without logistics businesses you have no loo roll…or flour. Just say’n…

HEALTH The increased awareness of how viruses and other contagions are spread has got to be good for our collective health knowledge. We have learnt, and re-learnt the art of coughing and of hand-washing. (Could be time to look at shares in the hand-soap industry?) And anyone coughing /spluttering in a group situation will feel the full force of the ‘death stare’ from the masses. Taxi!!

SMOOTH STARTS For many around the larger centres of the country who typically start their day full of frustration and stress due to traffic issues, working from home has removed that element entirely. The resulting ease to the start of the work day, and the removal of the same stress at the end of it that has been incredibly refreshing, and something I don’t want to give up if I’m honest!

LEADERSHIP We are inspired with some great examples of clients who have ‘pivoted’ nimbly, and their leadership has shone through a very difficult challenge. Using the time to up-skill and cross-train members of staff, redeploying to different parts of their businesses and coming up with creative ways to reduce the long-term impact to their employees. The HEALTH part of the Health and Safety remit has never been clearer, and creating on-site ‘bubbles’ to manage the risk is another new skill that has emerged.

ENABLED BY TECHNOLOGY If this virus had hit in 1987, it would be thoroughly faxed-up. Like it or not, technology has saved the day, and thank goodness this happened in the age of 4G and 5G, not dial-up! Whether you’re a zooming boomer, or a super-savvy-skyper – there are a tonne of home-hustlers using cell-phones, laptops, chrome-books, and Blackberry’s. Kidding. Ain’t nobody using a Blackberry.

NEW WAYS OF WORKING Necessity is the mother of all creativity, and by necessity that we are now conducting virtual meetings and working more digitally than ever. Perhaps for employers, seeing employees capably working from home could provide a seismic shift in the options available for their workforce. I haven’t printed anything for two and a half weeks! A tree lives, because we aren’t printing today. Amidst this, we are being forced into an environment of simplicity, removing the myriad of distractions we are usually so used to navigating at work.

BETTER MEETINGS Whilst some have embarrassed themselves by picking their noses or taking the phone to the loo during online meetings, on the whole, virtual sessions have created a much better environment to conduct conversations in. People are showing up on time, we are allowing others to finish before speaking, and we are all learning that our various facial expressions could do with some professional over-hauling #restingbitchface #IassureyouIaminterested

MOTHER EARTH The environmental impacts of the world coming to a halt have let mother earth breath. And it’s beautiful. From the fish in the Venice canals, to the clear skies in India and China to our own reduction in noise and vehicle pollution, this has provided much needed respite for our planet. The results are stark, and prove many theories to be correct. This could be the start of something truly transformational if we pay attention.

I’M ONLY HUMAN For many, we are realising what it means to be human - our prevailing need is for human connection. We are reconnecting on a personal front with our professional connections, and conversations that were typically functional and efficient with clients are now far more human, open and real. The ‘all in this together’ mantra has resulted in a strong sense of community and camaraderie which I hope will prevail, long after this has become a horrific memory. I had started to think I didn’t like people, I was wrong.

EPIPHANY We are collectively realising what is actually important in life – health, family, relationships. Being grateful for all that is in our lives has become an important coping mechanism, and an awareness of the waste in our lives is coming into clear view.

HOPE We show up every day because of hope. We are sharing hope with others when their hope is waning. Hope is our currency. The clouds will recede and the sun will shine again. Remember, this too shall pass.

The silver linings are many and varied, share some of yours with us! Enjoy your time with your families and be grateful for your health.

From the Team at Team