Tatjana Ahmed, Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai; and Chairwoman of the UAE Housekeepers Association
What a year it has been! Looking back, it feels like we have been catapulted into a new era of technology as with the rise of Covid-19, the world has experimented with video conferencing, replacing face-to-face meetings.
Every year, after the summer break, professionals from all trades look forward to participating in and visiting exhibitions, conventions and conferences, sharing the latest trends in their field of expertise. This also applies to the cleaning and maintenance industry.
How much did we miss the trade shows this year!? Finding knowledge in between the aisles of the exhibition stalls is a great way to stimulate your passion. Exchanging specialist opinions with colleagues, participating in on-stage panel discussions, listening to industry leaders during their presentations and putting a hand on the latest cleaning machines and gadgets provides you a bag full of experiences to take home.
Unfortunately, 2020 has not given us this opportunity. Instead of seminars, we now participate in webinars. Invitations to attend and participate in video conferencing are pouring in and topics about how to handle COVID-19 and our role in the post COVID-19 era have been discussed repeatedly. Whatever platform is used for video conferencing, it is a new way of sharing expertise and knowledge. Exhibitions, workshops and masterclasses are hosted virtual and live apart from expert panels. It’s important to embrace this kind of new learning platform as it keeps us updated on all new things.
One thing has definitely became clear, though in the past couple of months: Video conferencing technology platforms are yet to trump the benefits of live human interactions. Reason being, they are often mentally exhausting since it appears that one has to concentrate a lot more to retain information. As well as for the body language, it is difficult to interpret feelings and emotions. Once COVID-19 passes, we can meet once again in person.
In the meanwhile, what other resources are there to update yourself rather than joining video conferences? On-line reading is one of the most important resources you can get. From hotel magazines to industryrelated literature, there is plenty available. In addition, it is fre,e too. LinkedIn offers quite a few resources as well: Hoteliers Web, Hospitality Net, and others.