We have heard so much about this giant monster we cannot see or touch. It is constantly in the news bringing only negativity, but what we don’t hear is the opportunity it has given us to grow. While the collateral damage from this pandemic is worse than COVID itself, we can all find something positive to come from this disruption of the old routines and this new way of life.
Besides letting our hair go gray, not having to wear makeup, or even checking the back of our heads before getting on a ZOOM meeting, the opportunities that can come out of this pandemic are many.
At the Chamber, we have embraced technology for more connections using ZOOM for webinars, virtual networking, and even advisory councils. The number of attendees and engagement is much higher than when we were doing them in person. Needless to say, this exceeded our expectations and never did we think ZOOM would be a great way to engage new members and make new connections. This technology is borderless, and we find our engagement has grown outside of the North region with attendees from all over San Diego County. It has also proven valuable in connecting to a new customer base for us and many in the business community.
Retail has been hit hard and many who we have spoken to didn’t have e-commerce set up as they believe business is best done in person. Yes, personal relationships are wonderful but this new normal has given us the opportunity to showcase and diversify our businesses by selling goods and services online. While it is a small investment to set up, the returns have proven to be huge.
With many people working remote, there has been a cultural shift from the belief that you have to be in the office to get work done. I have to admit, it was a bit difficult getting this remote work down as I enjoyed being at the office with my colleagues and in the field with members daily. Many companies are finding that their employees are more productive and efficient working from home while saving them time with commuting and traffic. There is always a benefit to being in the office, it builds camaraderie and more collaboration can be done, but a balance between remote and office work can be good for everyone.
As we have worked from home and evaluated our processes, and programs, it became evident that there were some gaps where we can do things a bit more efficiently. What better time than now, to focus on making a shift in our normal responsibilities and doing our jobs a little different for a better outcome, stronger engagement and better relationships.
As our old normal shifts into anew we now have the opportunity to spend more time supporting the local business community and giving back to those who have supported all of our kid’s sports teams, charities, non-profits and school activities.
At the end of the day, we all have more time. Time to appreciate the simple things in life such as taking walks, spending more time with family, and reflecting back on what is really important in life. Time also gives us perspective, reinforcing the importance of reaching out to those who have lost touch, and taking the time to assist and support those in need. And, when we find time to take that walk or bike ride, the air is cleaner from less traffic on the road.
Yes, this challenging time will come to an end but think about all of the opportunities we have to make a difference in our lives while we try to sort this all out.
For more information on Chamber Members and other businesses that are currently open during the COVID-19 crisis, visit www.sdbusinesschamber.com
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