By Payal Parikh, Director of Client Engagement at Heinz Marketing

This year has brought a lot of challenges across the globe due to the spreading virus. Many businesses have had to shut down, and a lot more folks have lost their jobs. My heart reaches out to families who are not able to make ends meet due to lockdowns in various places around the world.

Amongst all this chaos, I see a ray of hope and a massive human capacity to adapt to change to come out of adversity and to thrive! I am witnessing communities coming together to help each other out. I am noticing families spending more time together which otherwise was not happening in many cases. Businesses are trying to connect on a personal level. In many ways I feel the virus has shown us how to live!

This is why I rate 2020 as one of the best teachers:

  • Optimizing resources: I’ve seen organizations making the best use of their resources. In the Spring, a lot of companies realized that budget is scarce and sales are dropping. Many leaders had to pivot their strategy to ensure their budgets were put to the best use. Marketing was forced to think about innovative ways to reach to their prospects who were already drowning in the sea of marketing saturation. In many cases, innovative campaigns demonstrated shining outcomes!
  • Working remotely: Though not possible for a lot of industries and organizations, a lot of companies have adapted to working remotely. This, in turn, saw a lot of cost savings on infrastructure for the companies and provided employees with peace of mind to not worry about virus exposure and still have a job. I am sure those who purchased Zoom Stock back in 2019 are very thankful for 2020 and enjoying the over 600% increase in its stock price!
  • Empathy and support: It’s so convenient for the rest of us when a select few folks are working in the store warehouse to stock up groceries, to shop them for us, and then bring it to us when we show up for the online order pick-up. I’ve seen lot of gratitude and empathy on social media, in person, and in communities for all the essential workers who are working day and night so we can live in comfort, isolated and without having to worry about contracting the virus. I don’t remember seeing so much awareness amongst us for all the essential workers pre-COVID. They were working just as hard before, as well.

Organizations that have shown empathy toward their workers have received higher commitment and performance from employees. I’ve witnessed clients who have shown empathy on Zoom calls when there are kids talking in the background. We’re all human – and the pandemic has allowed many of us the grace to accept each other as we all juggle multiple responsibilities at once.

  • Cost savings: Organizations have saved on infrastructure costs, individuals have saved on gas costs, and did I mention saving cost on formal pants?! Our family has also saved a lot on carry-out and dine-in as we have been eating home cooked meals 29 out of 30 days.
  • Nature enjoying us staying at home: I’ve read posts and stories about wildlife coming out much more often and timid animals expanding their territories and exploring the usually highly populated areas. Animal adoptions have also increased!

On a personal front:

  • More family time: I remember the days of driving back from work, picking up kids from school, and again driving them to their activities, and ending the day exhausted! Since March, we go out on walks and neighborhood bike rides in the evenings and play board games every night with the kiddos. It’s a blessing in disguise.
  • Kids learning: I know what my kids are learning—what their day to day is. I am feeling more involved than ever before.
  • Cost savings!

This doesn’t mean I don’t see anything negative that has happened in 2020 or I am ignoring it. This is all because my glass is half full. The benefits of 2020 have outweighed the problems, at least for me. And this is also because my kids are at a perfect age where they are pretty much independent (I don’t have an infant or a toddler to take care of while juggling work) and they are still wanting to spend time with me (I don’t have a teenager who wants to be locked in her room). I have an employer who is empathetic and have clients who are empathetic, as well. I have a supportive spouse who shares my load at home equally. My family in both the continents is healthy and safe.

So even if one of these pieces in my puzzle were out of order, I am sure I would’ve been writing about my super empty glass as opposed to the one that is half-full.

How do you think your glass is? Write in your comments, I’d love to hear your perspective on 2020! And I wish for continued health and well-being for you and your families.