It is with many emotions that we reflect on the one-year mark since the world shut down. We are filled with sadness over the loss of life and for loved ones that continue to be impacted by COVID-19. At the same time, we’re filled with hope. There will be many articles that accompany this somber anniversary; most that detail how much life has changed. We wanted to share how our team has coped and ways we are looking to the future more confident and optimistic.
Our team pulled together in several ways throughout the year to ensure the business would weather the economic uncertainty that a global pandemic brought with it. Fortunately, much of our research was able to be conducted remotely with the same level of data integrity as in-person research. However, that is not the case for every product we test, especially medical device research. Because of this, we still needed to conduct in-person research for medical devices.
This Essential Business designation meant we needed to mobilize a COVID task force whose priority was to track the constantly evolving COVID mitigation guidelines and build out our office spaces with safety protocols and equipment. Our team jumped in with enthusiasm, flexibility, and creativity to quickly reconfigure our labs, office space, and processes to mitigate the risk for employees, participants, and clients.
We also realized that we could do practically everything virtually, but we (still) desperately miss the vitality that our office environment provides. As the world experiences Zoom fatigue, we look forward to the time when we can throw open our doors to welcome everyone back into the office! But we also recognize the positive aspects of working from home so we anticipate that at some level, we will likely do more remote working than we did pre-COVID.
We weathered the uncertainty with honesty and transparency in our corporate communications. As a management team, we were empathetic and flexible. We supported each other and picked up slack if someone was impacted by COVID quarantine. We gave more freedoms to parents who were thrust into part-time teaching roles because of remote school.
At the end of the day, the emotion we felt the most was solidarity. We were all going through this. The whole world was. We all missed seeing our friends and extended family. We all missed traveling (and the vacations and weddings that were cancelled) and eating hot food in a crowded restaurant. We miss going to concerts. We miss hugging people! Like everyone else, we miss our ‘old’ normal.
It’s hard to ‘celebrate’ that we made it through the last year because we know many businesses did not. And, more tragically, 2.6 million people worldwide have perished. We can only move forward encouraged that our business can thrive in economic uncertainty because we have a team that is ‘all in’. That is what keeps us optimistic and smiling, even if it is over a Zoom meeting.