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Lessons from COVID-19

Whether your professional life has slowed down, ground to a halt, or sped up to mile-a-minute pace, life as we know it has drastically changed over the past months. Now, more than ever, people across industries are taking the time to reflect on the changes that have occurred and the positives we can take away from them in order to come out stronger. We spoke with four hospitality professionals who share the key lessons they’ve learned during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hotel Spa Manager

One of the main things I have learned over the last few months is how much I treasure my colleagues. I knew I enjoyed working with them, but I didn’t know how much I needed them in my life to keep my spirits high. We have gone through these challenges together and it has been a real bonding experience. It’s clear how fragile things are and how things can easily change, so I have learned to be more appreciative of the fact that we are in a position of strength. In our environment, there is still so much more that we can do and everyone is starting from zero, so we are going to take this opportunity to come back as strong as we can. Another thing I have learned is the importance of practicing what you preach. We always emphasise the importance of wellbeing, but I don’t think we really adopted these practices and enjoyed our own wellness tips. We’ve recently been able to take the time and follow our own advice – things like meditating and having a moment of gratitude – and it seems like the results show.

Restaurant Front of House

I think something I have learned is that we all take for granted how important food is to our social lives. Working in a restaurant I would see it every day and also am able to interact with people through my job, so restricted business operations have meant fewer people coming in. I now spend more time cooking and eating with my family to cherish that social element. Another thing I have learned is to embrace new skills. When we first opened we were all rushed off our feet and it was all hands on deck. That sense of camaraderie definitely prepped us for harder times. Everyone is chipping in where they can and taking on different roles until business resumes. It might not be your passion but it’s important to remember it is temporary and gives you a whole new respect for what others do to keep a business running.

Airline Customer Support

Our team is spread across a few different countries, so we are used to working closely together without the added benefit of face to face contact. This has really helped prepare for the challenges of remote working – a skill that’s become more important than ever before. Working in the customer service industry, one thing I have always known the importance of is patience, but this is more true now than ever before. Everybody is going through a difficult time – concerns about financial difficulties, reuniting families and more. We’re under a huge amount of pressure and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. But staying calm and level headed will not only help reassure the person on the other end of the line, but also your peers as good attitudes spread.

Hotel Human Resources

It’s always difficult to make decisions on the movement of people, and this is especially true now. Nevertheless, we must stay positive and learn to listen to peoples’ concerns and needs. Panicking is a natural reaction, but it doesn’t help a stressful situation. This pandemic has allowed us to strengthen our crisis management skills and the ways we respond to unpredictable situations. Part of my job now is to keep promoting and raising hygiene standards – no easy task when thermometer guns are even harder to come across than a box of face masks! We ask staff to take their temperature at the start of every shift, and now offer a flexible lunch hour for office staff to avoid larger crowds – a policy we are happy to see people taking advantage of. Most importantly, I believe in teamwork. The situation is starting to improve, and with continued hope and faith, we can steer through the hard times together.