The pandemic is not over yet, but nevertheless we want to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve learnt at RI in the past 15 months, because we believe some of our newly adapted habits are here to stay. Despite COVID, 2020 was one of the most successful years in the history of our company. Besides a little luck, what made this possible?
First of all: We have an amazing team! A huge thank you goes to everyone at RI who went out of their way to make our workplace Corona safe. By wearing masks and physical distancing, by working in stricter shifts than usually, by juggling working from home with family obligations, but also, e.g., by introducing creative gadgets to open doors without the use of your hands. More than 30 new colleagues have joined RI since March 2020 and managed to integrate really well even though the coffee breaks, our Sommerfest and the Christmas party were cancelled or became virtual events.
When the pandemic hit, we reacted quickly and put regulations in place to stop or at least slow the spread of the virus at RI. Some measures, like rapid tests for everyone, were introduced long before politics made them mandatory, because we felt this was the way to go. We are glad and grateful that, so far, we have not had a single case of Corona spread at RI. Now, with more and more of our staff vaccinated and the overall numbers getting better, we are about to relax some of the safety measures, but they can be quickly reinstated if need be.
So, what is here to stay?
Working from elsewhere turned out so well that there will definitely be more flexibility and individual solutions for everyone wishing to work from home also after the pandemic. Our monthly virtual all-hands meetings have become a new tradition that has brought us all closer together, so we will keep them. And while some travel activity will certainly return, we have also learnt that well-orchestrated videoconferences can replace some long-distance journeys and help reduce our carbon footprint.