Why staying connected is so important

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  Posted by: The Probe      23rd June 2022

Social and professional connections are crucial for the growth and wellbeing of individuals and businesses. Recent years have been testing, but they have also demonstrated the enormous value for face-to-face interactions in our everyday lives.

The benefits of connecting

From a personal point of view, socialising can do much more than impact one’s communication skills. For instance, social connections may have an influence over a person’s risk of obesity,[i] smoking behaviours[ii] and chance of high blood pressure.[iii] In fact, the number and strength of relationships a person has, can impact their health and wellbeing in general. In the dental practice – or any business for that matter – building a team of individuals that can make positive social connections is therefore beneficial, in that it leads to a happy and healthy workplace.

The ability and confidence to speak to new people is also an essential skill for professional development and career fulfilment. Networking is a mas sive part of maturing in the dental profession. Not only does it provide a pool of colleagues to turn to for clinical advice or training guidance, but it can also lead to new working partnerships and exciting opportunities. In short, staying connected to the wider dental community is vital for all professionals, regardless of previous experience, ambitions or current situation.

Things lost in the pandemic

The social isolation enforced during the height of the pandemic has already been attributed to the weakening or loss of friendships for individuals across the UK.[iv] This was even more apparent among older age groups, who may have found the lack of physical contact most pronounced with less online activity and remote engagement with others. The widely discussed worsening in mental health may also be affecting adults as they attempt to return to social events and deal with the removal of safety measures from general society.

The impact on the labour market has been particularly pronounced. Whether due to staff being furloughed or let go, delays in shipping or other business disruptions, the pandemic was responsible for an estimated 1,677.2 million hours of work lost among full-time workers worldwide from Q2 2020 to Q4 2021 alone.[v] Though employment levels have recovered since the start of the pandemic, UK businesses now have fresh concerns regarding the rise in inflation, energy prices and general cost of living.[vi]

In addition to all of the above, dental clinics have had to contend with new patient concerns regarding their safety when visiting public spaces in-person, with similar worries also likely shared by staff members. From a professional development perspective, all members of the team had to find new ways to learn and network with peers, with many turning to remote technologies. Though a life-line at a difficult time, there can be no replacement for face-to-face connection and learning.

Brighter days

The good news is that the profession is very much getting back on track. Many of the postponed in-person courses and events are back and there are plenty of opportunities for the practice to reengage with the wider professional community. With lost time to make up and a keen appetite to catch up with friends and colleagues in real-life, events for 2022 are set to be jubilant occasions.

The Dentistry Show London will certainly be an event not to miss, with over 100 hours of live content for all members of the team to enjoy. Industry-leading speakers will explore a diverse selection of topics, offering clinical updates, market insights and inspirating business intelligence. There will also be 140+ exhibitors on the trade floor demonstrating their latest and greatest products, with cutting-edge technologies and game-changing materials on display. Best of all, delegates can engage with the entire dental community in-person for an enhanced learning and networking experience.

If you have missed interacting with people in the flesh, now’s the time to get back into the swing of things – for your personal and professional wellbeing.

 

The Dentistry Show London will be held on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th October 2022, ExCeL London.

Visit london.dentistryshow.co.uk for more information.

 

 

[i] Trogdon JG, Nonnemaker J, Pais J. Peer effects in adolescent overweight. J Health Econ. 2008 Sep;27(5):1388-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 May 13. PMID: 18565605.

[ii] Thomeer MB, Hernandez E, Umberson D, Thomas PA. Influence of Social Connections on Smoking Behavior across the Life Course. Adv Life Course Res. 2019;42:100294. doi:10.1016/j.alcr.2019.100294

[iii] Redondo-Sendino A, Guallar-Castillón, Banegas JR, Rodriguez-Artalejo F. Relationship between social netwok and hypertension in older people in Spain. Revista Espanola De Cardiologia. NOvemebr 2055. 58 (11):1294-1301

[iv] YouGov friendship study part five: How covid-19 impacted Britons’ relations with their friends. https://yougov.co.uk/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2021/12/16/yougov-friendship-study-part-five-how-covid-19-imp [Accessed April22]

[v] Statistica. Estimated number of working hours lost worldwide from 1st quarter 2020 to 4th quarter 2021, in full-time equivalent jobs. Economy & Politics. Economy. February 2022.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1259102/working-hours-lost-due-to-covid/ [Accessed April 2022]

[vi] Office for National Statistics. Business insights and impact on the UK economy: 7 April 2022. https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/bulletins/businessinsightsandimpactontheukeconomy/7april2022 [Accessed April 2022]


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