During the Covid-19 crisis the UKMHA have continued to operate and support its members. However, like so many other businesses, the one area that has been impacted is live events. Throughout the year the UKMHA hold a number of events including the Safety Convention, Safety Awards and Regional Meetings. The events will be rescheduled but over this period, in order to keep members informed, the UKMHA workforce have also had to change their daily working routine.
The global pandemic has seen millions of workers adapting to new ways of communicating to do business. Remote working has a number of benefits but when this current crisis is over, it is important to remember the positive aspects of face-to-face contact too.
What is reassuring for businesses, in this world of modern technology, is how easy it is to stay in touch with each other. Whether checking in with colleagues or keeping in contact with customers and suppliers, there are a number of options available. Email and mobile phones are commonplace in day-to-day life and with so many people needing to stay at home these are tools which people are familiar with for one-to-one communications.
The current restrictions on employees and visitors to site means meetings are being cancelled. This does not have to be the case though as there are many video chat and conference call options available to businesses and individuals for free. One benefit of these online meetings is they are often much shorter and easier to keep on topic.
Applications such as Skype and Team Viewer enable face-to-face meetings without physically being in the same room. Team viewer has functionality for sharing screens and documents so you can work on projects together rather than clog up inboxes with email exchanges and large documents. Dropbox, Google Drive and WeTransfer also enable you to share large documents ensuring they are received, as many emails have a size limit restricting what can be sent.
This will help keep your business running and when this crisis recedes you will be in a robust position to transition back to normality.
Whilst technology has enabled businesses to function during this time it is worth remembering that physical interactions are also beneficial. People deal with people and there is no replacement for sitting in the same room and having a conversation.
It is much easier to decipher a person’s true reaction to something if you can see their body language. Subtle cues will be missed with remote calling and if you rely on email for communication then there is a risk of misinterpretation.
With so many live events being cancelled or postponed there is a risk that businesses will assume they are not necessary in the future. After all, we got by without them during this crisis didn’t we? But live events provide an unrivalled opportunity to meet people and develop existing relationships. Networking and meeting new people in person is much more effective for a lasting relationship than online communication.
Humans are a social species and maintaining contact during this time is vital for our mental well-being. When the restrictions to physicality are lifted, we should look to adopt the positives of this experience. We know we can function away from the office but we need a balance between efficiency and social interaction.
By combining the benefits of both remote and face-to-face working our businesses will recover and thrive in an evolved landscape.