A brave new world?

Thursday 19th of March 2020

Well we have finally been forced to do something not done in a lifetime – we are bunkering down with our loved ones pondering our lifestyle choices.

Back in the 70s the lights went out amidst the strikes and back further, the rationing of the 40s seemed a thing we only heard of in history programmes. In my family we went through some interesting times with regards to cutting back and making ends meet.

Whilst we are not under rationing, the panic is palpable and who would have thought we would be fighting over toilet paper, the last bags of rice and contemplating limiting ourselves?

At Tpas, just like many other organisations across the country, we have had to make some decisions to scale back operations, postpone events and consider channel shift for some projects to protect our colleagues and the communities we work with. We are all working from home which for some will be a strange experience, but in a short time will start to feel fairly normal(ish).

So what does the next few weeks and months look like?

Unprecedented times for Tpas

You will know that our business is people, so you might think we are running round like scolded cats worrying what to do next. Let’s be honest, these are extraordinary times and I would argue no-one would have risk mapped the whole country being in lockdown, so there is some concern.

But, the success of any organisation is how you come out of adversity stronger, determined and more equipped to deal with anything that comes your way. That is where we are now, a time for creation.

In the past the majority of our work was done face to face although increasingly the digital channel shift has seen us carrying out more activities from a distance – this is something that has been happening for a while.

Virtual meetings is a thing already, file sharing, conference calls, video conferencing, webinars, podcasts and the humble telephone are all tools that can be used to engage effectively. Ok, they are not the same as our more utilised methods but so what – let’s get better at them!

To change and improve we have to start at our own front door – we can be the difference if we take the opportunity. That is what we will be doing in the next days and weeks – ramping up our digital offer and sharpening our activity to meet a changing landscape.

Moment in Time

I really believe that this is a moment in time, an opportunity to break ground in the whole ‘we have always done it this way’. I am not saying that once over we won’t return to face to face, but we will definitely have a more diverse range of tools at our disposal, with people better equipped to use them.

But I understand that the most important thing for people now is to keep safe and look after their families – that is a given. For housing providers, we should take this time to hone our digital skills, reinforce what works well, invest in the things that increase productivity and just get better.

If we take the time to increase the range of engagement tools we utilise, we will not only have a larger group of people to contact, but we will potentially improve the health & wellbeing of our people and those we interact with through reduced travel more focussed activity and better outcomes.

Whatever you do, stay safe, look after yourselves and your families.