Updated: Sep 9, 2021
It's no secret that COVID-19 and constant lockdowns have resulted in a more virtual, remote world than ever seen before in the last couple of decades.
From work Zoom calls from living rooms, virtual parties held over apps such as Houseparty, job interviews and hiring processes altering dramatically, and even virtual dating - the way we live has changed unprecedently.
The global pandemic brought a lot of hardship, pain and uncertainty - and it's amazing to think of just how much, and quickly, the entire world has had to adapt and evolve to the outcomes of COVID-19. It wasn't just travel that was interrupted or affected - the ways we work, communicate with others and connect has changed too.
But there are definitely a few benefits of adapting to this 'new normal' - and here are a few reasons why:
We've redefined our priorities Juggling a lot of things at once is only human - our social lives, relationships, work, hobbies, dreaded admin. Being in lockdown and changing the way we work and live has forced us to rethink our priorities, and do some shuffling around ourselves. Whereas before some people stressed over getting to the office 1minute after start time, or having to run home to pick up the kids from school in a rush, now it's possible to make those aspects of your life important to you, a priority. You can take 15minutes of your day to help with your kid's art project, or take 1hour to meditate in the afternoon. This also applies to our longer-term view of thinking. The world shifted so dramatically that some people even redefined where they wanted to go in life, such as delaying travel or starting a blog, or starting a new career altogether.
We connect more with others As funny as it sounds, I believe we actually connect and talk more with others now than before the pandemic started. The classic "I finish work at 5pm, so I can't that day sorry", or "I have to go to my cousin's dance recital that night sorry" now don't apply, giving us more time to have that virtual coffee, or weekly zoom call with family. Connecting with friends and family knowing we are all in the same boat, experiencing the same uncertainties also brings people together. I know I am not alone when I say I have spoken to more friends now than I ever have before living in this new remote world.
Health and wellness is now the rule, not the exception We all know that in order to live an active, healthy life we need to eat and sleep better, maintain a healthy diet, and reduce stress. Before the pandemic, those were things we did on the side whilst we juggled our daily lives around. Post pandemic, everyone is accepting health and wellness as a daily essential for everyone to have. From workplaces doing weekly check-ins and health challenges and corporate wellness programmes, gyms and personal trainers offering free online resources and a plethora of healthy lockdown meals circulating the internet, people are integrating wellness into their daily lives, and it's awesome to see.
Workplaces are now more open and adoptive to flexible working Before lockdown, the trend of '4 day week' had started to circulate media and organisation water cooler conversations. Now, in a global pandemic, organisations have realised that to keep employees engaged and happy and less stressed, remote and flexible working have to become a norm. Understanding that everyone works differently, at different times of the day and in different styles, was crucial to this working. I've seen a massive shift in this behavioural change across organisations, globally, and it's clear to see the benefits flexible working deliver.
The pandemic is far from over, and embracing the positive changes and ways we are affected is part of the way we can all get through this, together.