Zooming into the new normal
Where would we be without technology? It is certainly helping us to cope through this dramatic pandemic. Lockdown changed so much of our everyday lives. Imagine dealing with this 15 years ago without the internet, smart phones, online retail, streaming services and communication technologies such as Zoom. Technology has been an immense ally in helping us get through the huge changes wrought to our everyday lives, many of which we will carry through into the foreseeable future.
With many staff based at home, social media is another example of technology keeping us in touch with each other. This was exemplified on 9 July 2020 when the global lifting sector took to social media in droves, posting messages with the #GLAD2020 hashtag. The first ever Global Lifting Awareness Day turned out to be a phenomenal success. Throughout the day member companies and individuals in the region posted and shared across social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with the goal of engaging with as many people as possible.
Australia and New Zealand were among the first to post as #GLAD2020 dawned. One of those, summed up the day’s focus nicely, “#GLAD2020 is about recognising the importance of having high standards in lifting.”
A further ambition for the day was to spread awareness of what we do, as another Australian poster, pointed out, “We have an industry here that young people would want to join – they just don’t know about it.”
For those of us monitoring all the tweets around the world it was a long day because, when you think about it, from its beginning in New Zealand to midnight in Alaska – that’s a 50 hour day. But this indicates the global nature of our industry.
Taking place at a time of social distancing #GLAD2020 had an important positive social effect in bringing our industry together in a conversation about lifting. At time of writing, like other parts of the world Australia has been slowly emerging from lockdown conditions, though an outbreak in Victoria demonstrates the precarious nature of our ‘new normal’. New Zealand meanwhile is getting back to life as normal within the country, having virtually eliminated the virus, but has closed its borders to prevent further cases entering the country.
The pandemic set all industries and organisations hard challenges. LEEA has demonstrated its exceptional agility during the lockdown and is emerging with a number of differences. We have technology to thank here also because, as face-to-face training is not happening at the moment, LEEA is leveraging the power of the internet. Recently we have created Zoom-based, instructor-led training delivering our two most popular courses: the Foundation course and the Lifting Equipment General Course. Globally in June the association delivered 199 e-learning courses and 61 Zoom-based courses, which we think is quite remarkable, given that prior to the pandemic we didn’t have Zoom learning, nor online examinations. Yet in three months the courses have been established and circulated.
This is a huge change and while there will continue to be a need for face-to-face training and meetings, we believe Zoom will certainly replace a lot of unnecessary travel. Necessity is the mother of invention, so the saying goes, and these technologies will be an important part of our new normal – as will Global Lifting Awareness Day. Indeed it is being established as an annual fixture and #GLAD2021 will be held on 8 July 2021. As we learn to adapt to a new world of lifting, it is more important than ever that we continue to celebrate and promote our industry and to keep it front of mind of our end users, stakeholders and politicians.
LEEA members in Australia and New Zealand can contact Justin by email: email@example.com or tel: +(61) 400 001 000.