Preparing for Re-Entry: Getting Educated

June 8, 2020 | By: Molly Looman

With the working world entering a new phase after the initial shock of COVID-19, the pace of work has potentially been forever changed. Many professionals are still working from home or having limited time on sites or in offices, there seems to be a golden opportunity to return to the “full-speed” working world better than we left it.

Now that there is extra time in your day and decrease in travel, it is  the time to begin an online class, achieve a new certification or collect requirements for a program in the future. No matter the field there are always new paths for education.

Here a few reasons education can be a valuable addition to your new schedule.

Job Description Changes

Most people have experienced a change in their job description since the outbreak of COVID-19. Position needs are changing and new areas of expertise have arisen. Being certified or educated in areas like HVAC, green energy, crisis response or even health & hygiene will help you be a greater asset to your property. Most companies will be working to create new pandemic or outbreak response plans when they return. Becoming more educated on the subject will make you an even more valuable member of the process.

There may even been increased responsibilities for operations and maintenance professionals as properties will be looking to enhance efforts in security, hygiene and the flow of tenants and visitors. Taking seminars or becoming an “expert” in areas you think your property may invest in will make you more prepared for a full return to work.

Shifting Work/Life Balance

Let’s be honest, the work never stopped at the office doors.

The pandemic has forced everyone in every industry to slow down. For better or worse, many members of the commercial real estate industry have been moved out of the office. The 24/7 maintenance world has turned into a world of creative, distanced problem solving. People are spending more time with their families, in their homes and adjusting to the work from home lifestyle. This created a shift in work/life balance.

With work and home now in the same space, now is the time to accomplish educational goals you always said you never had time for. Many people are finding they are more productive at home. Use the extra time for something productive that furthers your personal growth and the overall health of the company.

Technology Boost

When the pandemic began, educational institutions were worried about effectively presenting their materials. However, all-digital education has made the content more accessible and more adaptable to people’s schedules. If you know you have a busy morning, online classes make it easy to schedule your class work or modules for the afternoon.

Many institutions are even offering free or discounted classes or webinars in order to engage more people and spread knowledge. This drastic shift to digital has left many people wishing they had become more versed in technology before. Now would be the perfect opportunity to become more technologically literate and get certified in a new software.

“I believe there is a lot of grace for professionals learning to use this new technology,” says BOMA Georgia’s Senior Director of Operations Jacob Wilder. “There is no better time to learn these new virtual presentation skills, and I have been advising BOMA Georgia’s newly minted virtual instructors and facilitators that they should take advantage of this time to develop their virtual skill set. Even if a presentation does not go according to plan, everyone realizes that we are all still learning.”

COVID-19 interrupted the CRE industry but that does not mean you cannot use this time to become a more well-rounded employee and add value to yourself as an individual. Even if the class is not CRE related, a diversity of education and backgrounds is always helpful to the health and progress of a company.

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