It is undeniable that 2020 didn’t turn out to be the year we were all hoping it would be. However, despite the horrors of the global pandemic that has had a huge impact on so many people’s lives, we thought we would look back on the year with a Guernsey perspective on events, counting our blessings to have been on our island home.
Although there have been many challenges for so many in Guernsey, due to an Island wide effort we have managed to almost completely return to our normal day-to-day lives. Whilst the rest of the world is facing the horrors of a second wave of coronavirus, we feel grateful every day for the amount of freedom we have. What’s more, thanks to the fact that islanders are sticking to the ‘Guernsey Together’ motto and taking precautions to keep each other safe, for the most part Guernsey businesses have been able to ‘revive and thrive’.
Though there were unfortunate job losses as a result of Covid-19, with some business sectors being more affected than others, the island’s overall economic recovery has been faster than anticipated, particularly when compared to the economic crash in 2008/9. The employment market has picked up significantly and we have steadily been making placements for both temporary and permanent roles.
Another unexpected positive is the rapid nature in which employees adapted to working from home and how, post lockdown, many companies are now offering staff the option of regularly working at home for part of the week, or on an ad hoc basis. Many people have found that working from home has offered fewer distractions than being in a busy office, making them more productive, and being able to avoid the daily commute has added to many people’s quality of life and work/life balance.
During lockdown many of us started using software such as MS Teams and Zoom for both personal and business reasons and even with businesses returning to their offices, a large number have decided to continue to use these methods for meetings in preference to business travel and may well continue to do so post Covid-19 to cut costs, save time, and minimise the stress for staff caused by frequent business travel.
As we know, stress and anxiety was a major concern due to the virus or isolation during lockdown, and this has certainly brought mental health issues to the fore, with businesses now having a much greater awareness on the subject, with an increased emphasis on the importance of employees’ mental health.
2020 will certainly be a year that we will never forget, but hopefully we can take these positives into the New Year and continue to reap the benefits of our island community as we face the challenges ahead.