Chloe and Anna chatting

Today might be a Bank Holiday, but it’s also the start of the week that, for many, things will start to return a little more to something like normal. The government are encouraging us to return to work in the office. Our children are returning to school. It will hopefully be an opportunity for many of us to return to some sort of routine. So as we head into September, it seems like a good time for us, as business owners, to reflect on the business lessons learned from COVID-19.

1) Flexibility works

A really important lesson is that the ability to work flexibly, really does work. The pandemic, and resulting lockdown, has forced people to work in a completely different way. The traditional ‘9 to 5’ was suddenly no more, and people were forced to work how they can, when they can. Indeed research from Deloitte hows that 55% of people believed their colleagues were just as, if not more productive during lockdown. It seems that this new, more flexible way of working really, well, worked!

Is it something you’ll be continuing as we move into the final months of the year?

2) Don’t be afraid of innovation

As business owners, our comfort zone is to do things in the way that we’ve always done them. That way, both we, and our customers, know what to expect. But the pandemic has forced people to think differently. Some have been forced to pivot completely when their ‘business as usual’ was forced to close. Others had to think creatively and learn to do things in a different way.

The second in our lessons from COVID-19 is the importance of thinking outside of the box. Of innovation. Of not being afraid to change things. As Steve Jobs once said:

Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.

So next time the opportunity for change comes, will you embrace it?

3) People are what matters

One of the biggest lessons from COVID-19 is that people are what matters. Whether you consider yourself a ‘people person’, someone who enjoys a balance of company and alone time, or whether you mostly enjoy being on your own, I think most people would say that lockdown has reminded them of the importance of people. Of connections and of relationships. Of being able to be with people whenever you wish. This applies to family and friends of course, but it also applies to customers, professional relationships and of course business partners!

The ability to video chat has been fundamental in keeping us all as connected as possible, but Zoom fatigue has become a real concern for many, as this BBC article shows. To mitigate this, we will be going back to a mix of online and offline events as soon as government guidelines allow and our venues can accommodate us. But in the meantime we are getting our people together in person (and in small groups) as much as we can!

The most important thing people should do is support and encourage each other.

Christa Wolf

Going forward

So there you have it. Three of our biggest lessons from COVID-19. But as with any lesson, the most important thing is implementing what you have learned going forward, and changing things for the better. And that’s exactly what we’ll be trying to do as a business:

  • Finding a balance between wellbeing and growing our business remains at the core of the Tabono philosophy, so our policy of allowing our team to work flexibly will remain. This allows both our co-founders to look after themselves as well as our business!
  • Luckily our team have never been afraid of innovation and doing things differently. But we will be putting in place new internal processes to allow us to better spot and respond to the different opportunities that come our way so that we are able to make the most of them!
  • Our team and our people are at the heart of everything we do, and the support network that we have created has proved crucial as the pandemic has evolved. As time moves on, we will continue to offer as much support as we can, in ways that work for our clients and our community, as well as providing opportunities for people to come together whenever and wherever we can. We will also continue to ensure we are available to listen whenever anyone needs us.

And what about you? What are your biggest lessons from COVID-19? And how are you going to implement your learning going forward? We’d love to hear your stories!