We often get asked, “What has COVID changed for your company?” Usually that question is followed up by some variation of, “Which of those changes do you see sticking around?” It’s true, as we round out of 2020, it has been a dynamic year. Here’s what I think is here to stay in 2021:
1. Social Safety Initiatives
We’ve done a lot from equipping our frontline staff with masks to additional training and health screening. I believe (and almost hope) that these social safety and awareness initiatives will become the new golden standard on how we service and interact with our customers. Due to the emotional nature of our business, I do hope that hugs and handshakes will be commonplace once again soon.
2. Increased Utilization of Sick Time
Like other trades, we have a pretty tough crew that tends to put others before themselves, even when it comes to their own health. This year, we’ve seen more of our staff call out sick than normal. Part of this is because we’ve told them to, specifically saying things like, “… and don’t even think about coming in, even if it’s only the sniffles.” We all have become more aware of our own personal health and how it can impact others in our workplace.
3. A Focus on Keeping Public Places Clean and Sanitized
One of our biggest frustrations through—and even prior to—2020 was watching individuals just apply a disinfectant to a surface and call it clean and sanitized. By now, everyone has had some awareness that surfaces have to be cleaned before a disinfectant can be applied. My hope is that in turn, we will have safer public spaces with a decrease in the quantity of disinfectant being used.
4. Limited Social Distancing
We have a team of over 150. While I hope that we reach a point in 2021 where we can all be in a room drinking, eating and celebrating like we always did prior to 2020, the realistic side of my brain tells me to expect some changes. Company parties will likely start to happen in 2021, but they’ll probably look and feel a little different. There may be some mask wearing, or we may be required to host them outside if we’re over a specific head count.
The world may never go back to the “old normal,” but I’m hopeful and optimistic that our “new normal” will be better for us all.--------------------------------------------
Article by Lauren Rawlins, Premier Restoration Hawaii’s General Manager of Sales as featured in the January 2021 issue of Building Management Hawaii.
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