September 30, 2023

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Adapting to Change

David Denor | 5/27/2020

I have been impressed with how well our staff has acclimated to the current work-from-home environment. In some cases, it took a few adjustments, including testing some new software products, but overall the transition was fairly seamless. Fortunately, our organization had a good business continuity plan in place.

We’ve learned a lot of lessons in the process. First and foremost, we realized we can still be focused and efficient while working remotely. Staff productivity did not suffer at all. Employees made whatever adjustments were needed and kept business moving forward. I appreciate how well our team adapted and am thankful for their resiliency, positive outlook and motivation to make sure our business stayed successful throughout the transition.

Other business executives have shared similar stories with me over the past few months. They, too, were grateful for their resilient workforces. Our discussions also touched on how office environments could change now that so many businesses have been tested and seen the success that can come from working remotely.

For many businesses, the future office environment may look very different from the one we knew just a few months back. Here at Florida Trend, we are considering creating more flexible work-from-home guidelines and are making sure our current work environment is compliant with social-distancing guidelines — while also allowing for collaborative workspaces that take those guidelines into consideration. There will be more cleaning and disinfecting of workspaces. And we are thinking about how we will entertain guests while remaining safe. For companies like ours that have sales teams that travel, how do we ensure their safety when they are outside the office? The extent of the impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on our everyday business lives — at least for the near future — is daunting.

The “Zoom environment” has been critically important to many of our businesses — yet, as someone who travels extensively throughout the state, I know that nothing can replace face-to-face interactions.

I believe the novelty of Zoom will fade eventually, and we will all move back to more typical interactions. We all need contact, communication and collaboration to survive and thrive. I hope the return to normalcy comes sooner rather than later. But I am confident we’ll get there.

Over the years, we have all had to adapt and make changes throughout our business and personal lives — and these times are no different. Our resiliency will sustain us through these difficult moments, and maybe even create opportunities that had not existed before.

Florida’s economic engine is strong and tested. Our business sectors will make it through this — maybe a bit beaten up and bruised — but I am confident that Floridians’ tenacity and adaptability will prevail and once again catapult Florida forward.

— David Denor, Publisher


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