4 Good Things That Came from 2020

This year has given us…a lot. A lot of anxiety, a lot of changes, and a lot of uncertainty. 

But, there has been a lot of good, too. A lot of good changes, both for the facility management industry, our region and the world on the whole. 

Here at DPM Care we like to look on the bright side of situations, so let’s take a look back at the good things of 2020. 

Reasons Why 2020 Wasn’t All Bad

1. Improved flexibility in workspace and location.

One of the first changes in 2020 was our inability to work in the same way we had. Seemingly overnight, everyone was converting their guest bedroom, kitchen, dining room or corner of the family room into a home office.

And businesses that weren’t previously open to flexible work environments learned to quickly adapt to a remote workforce. 

For facilities managers, that meant making sure employees had secure computers, cloud connections, VPNs and enough Internet to keep business going. 

If you managed a location that stayed open or had personnel working in their offices, it was time to be flexible and creative with your technology, your cleaning schedules (and products) and to work with your management and security teams to ensure the safety of everyone in the building. 

At DPM, we took the opportunity to work with customers to shift when and how we provided services. In some cases we changed products, systems, and schedules. Flexibility has always been a cornerstone of our business model, even more so now and going into 2021. 

2. Improved cleaning practices.

This year, cleaning, sanitizing and safety, which were always important, became life-saving. It isn’t enough anymore that your building and work area are clean when our crew finishes. Hard and soft surfaces have to remain clean and prevent germs from spreading.

And while it can be a hassle to take extra precautions to keep facilities safe and clean, we believe these changes will help facilities (and the people who work in them) stay healthy in the long run. Not only will this increased focus on cleaning help businesses prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it will also reduce the spread of the regular old cold and flu. 

And in our case, we’ve been hard at work refining our SaniShell Surface Cleaning system to ensure surfaces are sanitized, germ-free and able to stay that way for up to three months. Taking advantage of many companies having fewer employees on site has enabled us to do a deep clean in places that may not receive attention during a regular cleaning schedule. 

When it is safe to bring the full team back, our customers will be able to do so confident that their facilities are clean and healthy. A workplace that is cleaner, with fewer germs and irritants makes for a much healthier environment for everyone.  

3. People and businesses moving to Tennessee.

Another unintended benefit from 2020 is the number of new people choosing to make Tennessee their home.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began and people started cutting back on expenses, in some cases from necessity due to job losses or furloughs or salary cuts, they also looked at what their cost of living was. Many decided that living on the East or West Coast was no longer cost-effective or desirable. 

Emerging Trends in Real Estate by Urban Land Institute and PwC, puts Nashville as one of the three top places people are looking to transfer in 2021, behind only Raleigh/Durham and Austin. 

According to Zillow, more than half of its Nashville-related inquiries this year have come from outside the metropolitan area – that’s up seven percent from last year already.

More people moving to the area, both to live and do business, increases the tax base, provides jobs and will help get Nashville as it continues recovering from the pandemic economic downturn. 

4. Rethinking priorities. 

As Simon & Garfunkel said, “Slow down. You move too fast. Gotta make the morning last.” If nothing else, 2020 gave us the gift of perspective and time to slow down.

For many people, a commute from the bedroom to the dining room meant shaving hours off their days – time they were able to put to use cooking, playing with the children, reading, binge watching “Tiger King” or learning a new skill. 

When we all slowed down, so did the Earth. Venetian canals ran clear, the air cleared with less vehicle pollution and we all learned to listen to the birds. 

Time to reassess priorities and goals meant that we learned the perfect Zoom meeting doesn’t exist, that a barking dog or child running through the camera shot can be entertaining and a welcome distraction, and that not all the emails, texts and messages have to be returned right now. 

A new year is on the horizon – let’s hope the lessons and experiences – good and bad – from 2020 serve us well.