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Throughout history, crises have catalysed societal changes, leaving a lasting impact on the way we live and interact. The Covid-19 pandemic has been no exception, reshaping our perspectives and forging connections within our communities that were previously overlooked.

Before the pandemic, our lives were characterised by a relentless busyness that often caused us to overlook the importance of our immediate community. Neighbours became familiar faces we waved to while hurrying through daily tasks, and it was not uncommon to realise that someone we thought was nearby had actually moved away long ago.

However, the pandemic forced us to draw our horizons closer to home. As we clapped for essential workers on Thursdays, we discovered the faces behind the doors next to ours. We reached out with offers of help, dropping slips of paper to check on our neighbours’ well-being, and actively engaged in assisting the vulnerable members of our community.

Surprisingly, we found ourselves becoming more connected to our neighbors and fellow community members than ever before. The crisis awakened a new sense of community, fostering a genuine concern for one another’s welfare.

As the world now contemplates the process of unlocking and returning to a semblance of normalcy, we must reflect on how our communities will evolve. Will we revert to our previous routines, merely acknowledging our neighbors during occasional encounters without any meaningful connection? It is our hope that this newfound sense of community endures.

The pandemic has presented us with a unique opportunity to extend this spirit of togetherness into our professional lives. Consider how we can incorporate this sense of community into our work, just as we have done in volunteering to support one another during challenging times.

For instance, I am a proud member of an IWFM Special Interest Group (SIG), actively participating in the committee for the Procurement SIG for several years. This group’s mission is to provide support to our colleagues in facilities management. By helping newcomers to the profession and learning from my fellow committee members, I have experienced personal growth and fulfillment. Investing my time in this endeavor has been a gratifying experience.

As governments strategise ways to revive their economies, and companies contemplate the safe return of their employees to workplaces, let us all consider how we can embrace the newfound sense of community and fulfilment that we have discovered outside of our day jobs. By extending this spirit into our professional lives, both our careers and personal lives will be enriched, making a positive difference in the world around us.

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