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Brighter roads ahead

HOSPA CEO Jane Pendlebury looks forward to a fresh start for the sector.

Could it be true? Could we be getting back to normal? All the signs seem to indicate that the UK is on the right track for hotels to re-open on 17th of May and for us to be free of all legal limits on social contact from the 21st of June. Optimism seems to be getting stronger every day, although I still hear caution from some, and certainly not everyone is ready for the hustle and bustle of the daily commute.

Despite this, I don’t think it will take long for everyone to be embracing full lives again. Things, though, have changed for many industries. For those that don’t need a physical presence at work, trust from senior management has increased and many teams will continue with a much more flexible approach than ever before.

Gone are the days of ‘working from home’ being met with suspicion or doubt and replaced with a positive attitude and an understanding that this may heighten the ability to ‘get things done’. Longer days with less interruptions are perfect for many, especially those who benefit from

a quieter environment to focus on a project.

However, for those in industries such as hospitality there are fewer employees who can effectively work from home. You cannot greet a guest, prepare or serve a coffee from a distance. An Overview column on the benefits of robotic workers will no doubt have its day, but not today! Perhaps that is what makes our choice of career so appealing to many. It is the interaction with guests and colleagues alike that gives our work the charm and fulfillment that can be so addictive.

Teamwork is not unique to hospitality – sports, both amateur and professional, are glaringly obvious examples of ‘teams’. We are not alone in being an industry that relies on collaboration. Indeed there are too many to mention. I often think back to my days working directly in hotels and I cannot conjure a picture without my colleagues or guests popping into the subseq

uent memory.

As Steve Jobs famously said: “Great things in business are never done by one person; they are done by a team of

people”. Creativity and innovation are only enhanced by different views. Challenging the norm can be a daunting process, and the first person to be brave enough to look at things differently can often be ridiculed by less daring colleagues. This is where teams are crucial to success. Generating ideas, understanding operations from different perspectives, sharing the good with the bad and the ugly are all part of the process to reach a smooth delivery of results. And once teams are working together, the positive results will follow, morale and team spirit will grow, and work ethics will improve enormously.

We have all experienced so much change over the past year, so let’s continue that trend and keep working to make our hospitality workplaces fun and effective. There is a buzz surrounding hospitality opening up fully. I truly believe there is a newfound love and appreciation for pubs, cafes, restaurants, hotels – so let’s maximise that sentiment! Hospitality has always had a place in people’s hearts, and that’s the case now more than ever. So let’s move into the next

phase of our post-pandemic recovery with great optimism for what the future holds – for guests and colleagues alike!

Jane Pendlebury HOSPA CEO


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