Looking back a year ago, I fondly reminisce about my unforgettable Arctic adventure, surrounded by wildlife and exploring the vast tundra during my ‘gap month.’ If only the ghosts from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol could have foretold what the coming year held in store for me – working from home exclusively, disconnected from friends, sporting longer hair reminiscent of the ’90s, and facing an uncertain future. Yet, here we are, collectively adjusting to a potential new way of living. But we can meet the challenges ahead with readiness.
- Resilience – the ability to adapt and recover from change, will be crucial as we navigate the uncharted territory of the so-called ‘new normal.’ We have already demonstrated our adaptability, leveraging technology to stay connected and productive. In facilities management, our frontline role demands swift adjustments to support clients and ensure seamless operations across various settings.
- Empathetic – In these trying times, some team members might openly express their feelings, while others struggle in silence. Understanding what’s left unsaid has become critical, especially with increased online communications. Attentive listening and empathetic responses are vital skills. Recognising when someone needs support and having the self-awareness to provide help are essential. We are all experiencing good and bad days.
- Appreciative – As a nation, we are learning to appreciate the unsung heroes who make a difference. The ‘clap for carers’ movement exemplified this. In FM, our people deserve our gratitude for their tireless efforts. Let’s hope this crisis shines a light on those previously unseen and that we retain our ability to appreciate even the simplest joys denied to us. Expressing thanks for the people who enrich our everyday lives becomes more important than ever.
- Delivering – After the initial shock, we must continue to excel in our roles. Standing out and communicating effectively within our organisations require new skills. For FM professionals, running buildings while engaging with senior managers and stakeholders demands learning, adapting, and communicating in fresh ways. What worked in the past might not suffice now, so we must remain open to innovation.
- Yearning – It’s natural to long for the past, and the idea of a ‘new normal’ is an attempt to define and understand the future. However, the rules of this new era are still being formed. Like an author in the First World War who lived amid profound social change but couldn’t fully comprehend it while merely trying to get by, we may yearn for familiarity. Yet, we must grieve the past while embracing the potential of this new future for both ourselves and society as a whole.
LIVING WITH CHANGE: ARE YOU READY?
These are extraordinary times that demand readiness – the readiness to be Resilient, Empathetic, Appreciative, Delivering, and to embrace a sense of Yearning for a brighter future. Let us face these challenges with determination and compassion and build a better tomorrow together.