I don’t think any of us would have predicted how 2020 was going to turn out at the start of the year.
In early January we launched MM Executive Recruitment, a specialist extension to our recruitment service, following exceptionally strong growth in 2019. The markets were promising despite the uncertainty around Brexit and we were looking forward to securing more successes at an executive level. We were also excited to continue our work with the HR network in Wales by delivering our regular seminars, workshops and supporting some key HR events and initiatives throughout the year.
It’s fair to say that 2020 had other plans for us all.
We’ve all had to make huge changes to our lives and the way in which we work. Terminology and rules that we’d never heard of have now become general practice; social distancing, quarantine, obligatory mask wearing and pubs closing at 6pm to name just a few!
One of the major impacts to the world of work has been remote working. When national lockdown was enforced indefinitely at the end of March business had to adapt, and fast. Demand for flexible and remote working has been on the agenda for years, but while some businesses offered it as an incentive, others were yet to comprehend the idea of allowing an entire workforce to work from home.
The pandemic gave businesses no other choice. With people confined to their homes, organisations had to facilitate a remote workforce or risk everything coming to a halt.
Whilst the circumstances of this were exceptionally challenging, it has proved that a remote workforce can be more productive, more engaged and can be a favoured option by both business and employer. Welsh Government has said its long-term aim is to have 30% of the Welsh workforce permanently remotely whilst two thirds of UK firms said they would retain remote working models post Covid-19. 
It’s also thought that remote working has been hugely beneficial in levelling the playing field for disabled employees because work has become accessible, anywhere. It’s positives like this that businesses should be striving to make permanent. Not only does it give disabled workers access to more opportunities, but it also gives employers access to a huge pool of talent.
2020 has been the year that we’ve all embraced “Virtual” – virtual hiring, virtual onboarding, virtual training and events. Whilst it’s proved convenient and has enabled business as usual as much as possible, I think we will all be glad when we have a choice again.
Whilst we’ve all been grateful to continue working, albeit in new ways, it has made us appreciate the value of human connection. It’s impossible to recreate this fully through a screen and it’s been interesting to see a shift in attitudes to virtual alternatives the longer the pandemic has gone on.
As I look to the new year, I am hopeful that we will see the return of human contact, be able to meet face to face, host our popular business seminars once again and celebrate the incredible work of the HR industry at those glittering awards evenings.
Next year is particularly special for us as it marks 20 years of Human Resourcing. Despite all the challenges and changes, I can say that in those 20 years my passion for the industry has only grown stronger and I am delighted to celebrate 20 years in style so watch this space!
If this year has given us anything, it’s been a unique opportunity to step off the treadmill and have the time to reflect on what’s really important to us. I’ve seen it as a chance to press reset and launch ourselves into 2021 with excitement and positivity and a clearer vision about what I want to achieve both personally and in business.
I think we all deserve some rest and relaxation over the Christmas period, and I look forward to seeing all my loyal, long standing and new clients and candidates on the other side!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to every one of you.