Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
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Welcome to the Cleanzine
When the world went into lockdown, we had to quickly adapt to working from home efficiently without work infringing on our home life. We soon learnt how to hold meetings over the Web, either one-to-one or en masse with clients and colleagues, and found ways to prevent sudden interruptions from family and pets, or being caught onscreen inappropriately dressed or with incriminating objects in the background. We missed the physical interaction with colleagues: shared lunches, gossip by the coffee machine, after-work trips to the pub, birthday celebrations and Christmas parties – but these losses were counterbalanced by the relief at not having to commute: to not have to push into an overcrowded train or bus or sit in barely moving traffic in the car for hours each morning, knowing that the same battle faced us when homeward bound. Salespeople told me they missed the enjoyment of meeting up with clients who, over the years, had become friends, or the buzz of striking a deal with a customer on first meeting. They loved not having to spend half their lives on the road though, living out of a suitcase lugged into one hotel after another and eating lunch at the wheel as there wasn’t time to stop. Demonstrating a product or machine wasn’t as easy over the Internet, but over time the technique was perfected and people got by.
I often mused over whether we’d ever go back to the old ways. I felt that with the pollution caused by (and the expense of) commuting, sales trips and business flights, working from home was sensible and I find the UK Government’s push to get us all back into the office at odds with its commitment to tackle environmental issues. Having had to drive in London last week and seeing the problems Mayor Sadiq Khan’s created for motorists: wide cycle tracks sitting beside bus lanes along virtually continuous 20mph zones which mean third gear’s too low and fourth gear’s too high – well I’m normally very calm but after 40 minutes my anger and frustration had reached worrying levels. Go through that every day? Not a cat in hell’s chance!
I’d wondered, because of the way we’ve all changed, where it would leave our industry gatherings – exhibitions and the like. Would they, like the daily commute, die a death? Learning that last week’s Interclean exhibition in Amsterdam managed to attract 25,886 visitors surprised and delighted me. I’d not been able to attend this time around but I’d wondered how many might just not bother, because we’ve got out of the habit of travelling for work. Thank goodness my musings were way off mark!
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19th May 2022