Elena Malkova has worked in the Dutch fresh produce trade for no less than 25 years. Last year she exchanged her commercial job in the fresh produce sector to work as a coach. For the fruit and vegetable sector she wrote the column below:
Every huge challenge, every crisis teaches us something. It shows us that we might need to rethink our place in the market, our future vision, our business processes. It shows us, that what we have believed in and have seen as the only possible way, might just be one of many possibilities , and not even the best one.
But are we open-minded enough to accept those new ways of thinking and working?
When I talk to people that work in fresh produce, most of them say that the biggest revelation of last couple of months is, that remote work is possible in this branch!!! Some of them are more positive about it , then the others, but all seem to be kind of flabbergasted about it: majority of the fresh produce sector aged over 40 never ever considered remote situation workable.
I personally like this new realisation very much. To me that means that we are at least open to talk about and, in case of most freethinking and innovative daredevils within the business, to experiment with letting of some old fashioned believes and rules go and trying out something new.
Though I do understand that this branch is not a tech industry where companies like Facebook want to have 50% of its employees working remotely full time within couple of years, I am sure we cannot ignore the fact that so many companies within fresh produce have been successfully operating within hybrid (some of the time in the office, some of the time at home) remote work situation.
I know that opinions are divided: there are people who can not wait to go back to the office, because their working days have become hours longer due to the communicational delays; but there are also people, who experience this kind of work as less stressful and pressure sensitive, and their productivity has actually increased because of it.
So let’s take time to acknowledge and accept that diversity of working processes we all now see as possible and doable, can and will contribute to happiness and wellbeing of people working in our organisations . I can assure you, that this happiness and wellbeing will profit everybody!
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