One of the big challenges facing business today is how to emerge from the pandemic and move to some sort of business as usual, in the next normal.

Phrases such as ‘do what you can’ rather than applying traditional management controls, reflect a need to recognise employees as parents who are home-schooling or in sub optimal conditions whilst working from their home. Dealing with difficult and stressful work situations whilst in your home, means it’s no longer your sanctuary and during lockdown there’s no going home to create a distance.

For some the lockdown has been 13 weeks of sunny respite from busy commutes and pressures, for others a nightmare worrying about their children’s education and whether they will have a job at the end. Like a game of musical chairs, some were luckier than others when the music stopped, and lockdown began. Sector, age, individual role, parental schooling responsibility, being alone or sharing the load, self-employed, key worker status, are just some of the factors in the grid which determine your lot.

The generosity of the Chancellor’s furlough scheme has surprised and pleased many, however as it comes to an end, all the signals are that there will be tough days ahead.

Several common themes are emerging from the CCA network; engagement levels for the 100 or so virtual events since lockdown have been staggering, as the demand to find out what everyone else is doing is insatiable.

Returning a workforce, some in an office, some remaining at home; restoring some productivity whilst instilling confidence that employees are safe is a tall order, and the technicalities are absorbing huge amounts of management resource.

Hastily drafted HSE guidelines are a work in progress, as relentless media coverage creates fear in us all.

Mental health awareness in the workforce has never been higher, and many organisations that we speak to have developed sophisticated systems that they believe will endure long after the pandemic.

Today’s awful economic figures are extremely disheartening, however at yesterday’s CCA Special Advisor meeting we heard about the history of pandemics, this too will end as we learn to understand and live with risks.

Critically we should bottle what’s good including the dismantling of useless organisational barriers to useful developments in digital adoption and employee empowerment. Many of these should have happened long before now. As a modern agile sector, we should cherish the opportunity to gain much deserved recognition; the whole organisation is now learning quickly from the frontline, and there’s no going back.

Conversations on these issues and more will continue at our upcoming CCA Summer Convention on 23, 24 & 25 June. A sterling line-up of experts, strategic thinkers and practical case studies and debate await so if you haven’t signed up already please don’t miss out. Click here for further information.

Have a lovely weekend!

Anne Marie