Mediation: A Reflection a Year into the Pandemic

So, it’s been a year since the first national lockdown and I’ve been reflecting on what’s been and thinking about what’s to come in the world of mediation.

A rise in neighbourly disputes

The biggest change caused by the pandemic has been a surge in neighbourhood disputes as people have stayed at home more, we’ve been restricted in terms of socialising, there’s been limited services available, and things have generally been tenser in society.

Things that we’re previously tolerable such as a lack of privacy, loud music, barking dogs, and issues with fencing and shrubbery can now be the foundation for bigger conflicts.

Some law firms, such as Gordon Brown Law Firm LLP, have received a threefold increase in calls involving neighbour and boundary disputes since March 2020.

Naturally then with our housing association clients we’ve been very busy with handling tenant complaints and conflict coaching.

You can find out more about these services here:

https://www.adrmediation.org.uk/handling-tenant-complaints/

https://www.adrmediation.org.uk/conflict-coaching-and-support/

Workplace mediation: a shift

Now as we hopefully continue on our path back to normality more of our focus is shifting towards how we can help companies as more furloughed staff re-join workforces. As we’ve already seen this can be a breeding ground for conflicts in the workplace.

Both the furloughed staff and the staff who have remained full time throughout the pandemic may have their grievances.

For the furloughed staff returning to work things may have changed quite a lot and their colleagues may not be ready to welcome them with open arms. On the other side of the coin, the staff who weren’t on furlough might not want the dynamic in the office to change or they may have resentment towards the furloughed staff as they’ve had to man the ship the whole pandemic.

It’s a complex area and it needs proper management. We expect to get much busier in this area as we ramp up towards normality.

We can help with training management teams to deal with any issues before they escalate and to help ensure a smooth transition back into the fold for employees coming back from furlough. Also, we can help management support those who have been working throughout the pandemic so they can embrace the idea of the whole team reuniting.

We can also help if you have any ongoing conflicts or if situations have already escalated. It’s never too early or too late to turn to mediation.

You can find out more about mediation and our services here:

https://www.adrmediation.org.uk/mediation/

We’re also currently offering free 1-hour consultations so please contact me to book yours in.

All the best for 2021.

-Kim Logan, CEO, ADR Mediation & Training

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