On Sunday night just gone, several regions of Western Australia went into hard lockdown due to a single transmission of COVID-19 in the community. We are lucky to have a responsive and responsible government that takes these sorts of proactive measures to protect our community in this time of a global pandemic.
For Gaia Resources, the lockdown impacted the majority of our staff, namely those of us based in Perth. While we do have other team members in Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart, we’ve all been quite lucky in our respective states, and this Western Australian lockdown is really no more than a reminder that COVID is still here. Thanks to our planning around business continuity under our ISO accreditations, we were able to quickly contact our team, let them know to work from home, and to make sure they took care of themselves and their loved ones by following health directions. As a result, our Perth-based team were able to continue to work productively from our home offices starting Monday morning.
The lockdown is not something we are just taking for granted, though, and we still need to look after each other during this period, and it is a reminder that the old ways of working don’t necessarily make sense for the future.
Since more widespread lockdowns finished up late last year across Australia, we have been implementing our “return to the office” plan to enable our team to have some face time with each other. As we tracked with our team last year, while we were still “productive” as a team when we were fully remote, it was getting hard on us from a perspective of mental health. Part of that was due to the isolation we were experiencing – despite all the digital tools we were using for regular communication, there is no perfect substitute for seeing other people in person.
This importance of face time is also important to consider for our clients with respect to how we deliver our services. With the States in Australia changing their quarantine responses readily, we are not able to travel as freely as we used to, and this is something I for one am very thankful for – travel puts a lot of strain on people and families. Hence, travel is something that we will be treating very differently in the future, and minimising it wherever possible – and when it is required we will be looking at a “shared responsibility” approach to the environmental impacts of travel with our clients.
So, getting some interaction with other human beings was something we have been working on as a team. Returning to the office spaces has been an important part of the plan, and we’ve been doing it gradually and with consideration of the change, it imparts on our team. Working from home has many benefits for our team members that we didn’t want to lose – more time with their families, dedicated time that you can focus on tasks and concentrate, and simply having more time back in the day instead of commuting. As we’ve also mentioned before, it also has benefits for the planet, too – something we really take seriously.
As a result, we haven’t charged back to full-time working in the offices, and to be honest, we won’t be doing that anyway. The benefits for the individual and for the planet mean that our “way forward” we started last year will be more people and planet friendly, and it means that lockdowns like this won’t have as much of an impact on us as they might to other groups.
So apart from looking after each other, and our clients, we’re also making sure to look after ourselves. That’s part of what we do here at Gaia Resources, and we are working to ensure that this terrible pandemic will deliver a fundamental positive change in how “work” will happen in the future – better for clients, better for people and better for the planet. It is my hope that this represents something good happening out of all this tragedy.
If you’d like to find out more on any aspect of how we’re working in this new way, feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, give me a call on (08) 92277309 or check our social media Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.