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A virtual life after lockdown

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With everyone currently living each day as it comes, it’s hard to imagine how our lives and work will look after lockdown and what changes we will make once we return to our “normal” life. As human beings we always seem to find a way to adapt, but let’s also use this as an opportunity to learn so that when things do become normalised, we can improve on what we had before.

I have seen lots of changes already, not just in our own business at Henry Nicholas but across the lives of my colleagues, friends and other businesses too. The world has had to adjust to the ongoing situation. Here are some of my observations so far:

People

It’s been great to view the new hobbies everyone has started, so many have taken this time to invest in themselves and think about making significant lifestyle changes. Our team have been busy, with Jess and Phoebe taking the time to paint; Nick, John, Dan and Andrew joining our “open to all” running WhatsApp group; Tony has been putting his free time into home improvements, while I have started to learn Spanish on Duolingo. I am sure the restrictions on movement will mean even more people will look to travel and make the most of exploring our countryside once restrictions have been lifted.

The world

We have become “virtual” almost overnight. Who would have thought we would place bets on a computerised horse to win the Grand National, or chat to your Gran on Zoom?  Social Media has been brilliant; as a country we have been online exercising with Joe Wicks, learning to cook with Jamie Oliver, seen Ricky Gervais entertain us all live each night, had our children taught maths by Carol Vorderman and read bedtime stories by Dolly Parton. Not forgetting the daily, almost hourly memes that have made us laugh and raise our spirits. There has also been a meteoric rise in virtual pubs, club nights and gigs. I do wonder whether this is here to stay. How about a virtual Glastonbury 2021 with a VR headset for anybody not lucky enough to get tickets!?

Businesses

In the past businesses have been reluctant and scared of change, especially when it came to topics around flexible working, working from home and remote working. This is where we might see the biggest changes of all, incorporating these changes into our ways of working will surely allow for companies to select and hire candidates from a wider pool of talent. I’ve already heard of companies providing allowances for home desks and loans on laptops. Rent is often the 2nd largest outgoing for any company (behind their employee costs), so will we see companies move to smaller offices with a large proportion of their staff working from home each week? With an increase in home working, another positive is the increase in opportunities for people with disabilities who are unable to get to an office each day and parents returning to work after maternity or paternity leave.

The recruitment industry

Our industry will no doubt adopt a more virtual approach. More interviews will be held over video, which will make the recruitment process more efficient, thus saving companies valuable time and money. Candidates will have to practice and adapt to video interviews, making sure they come across as enthusiastic and professional just as they would do face to face, while still looking to build rapport. More video briefings would also bring about a reduction in travel costs for recruitment businesses who have clients around the UK, while having a positive impact on the environment.

Henry Nicholas

Since the recommended government restrictions, Henry Nicholas has already made huge strides in adapting as a business. In moving to 100% home working, we have proven that we are able to deliver the same level of service we would normally to both candidates and clients alike. Our ethos at Henry Nicholas has always been to become experts in our field (Marketing, PR, Data, Tech and Digital). We quickly realised that we can help by sharing our knowledge within our network, so we’ve all gone behind the camera to film about topics that are important to us and have written more about current trends with the aim of helping people. We have pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone but believe this is the only way we will adapt and become a better business. Regular webinars will come shortly and any recommendations on content is always welcome.

In conclusion, the virtual world is fantastic. It’s full of possibilities and will be here to stay. The technology we depend on will become more advanced and will help us in endless ways. Let’s use it to interact even more to improve our relationships with one another, never forgetting that the best relationships have always been built face to face.