In early 2020 as the Covid 19 pandemic began to extend around the globe reshaping all of our lives. Changes were happening fast.  Many people began working from home and were having to plan how they would set up an office work-station in their homes.

With the short notice the pandemic created, setting up the office would have to be done quickly. Considerations around needing plenty of light, plenty of outlets for technology, and privacy rose to the top of the “To Do Lists”.  On a larger scale, the closing down of businesses and lockdowns of communities started to impact workers and companies around the world.  This also raised challenges and benefits for our coach practitioners, their clients, and our ICF staff.

Beyond the mechanics of setting up a home office, coach practitioners faced the impact that the pandemic has had on their practices.  According to the Covid-19 and the Coaching Industry 2020 ICF Global Coaching Study conducted as this pandemic was gaining a foothold, 49% of the 8939 coach practitioners responding to the survey have experienced reduced income during the pandemic. Also, 31-40% of coach practitioners have reported a reduction in work hours.

On a positive note, 48% have increased the number of hours spent receiving training, and 74% have increased their use of audio-video platforms.  The study also reports that “A majority of coach practitioners said they had increased their provision of pro bono coaching since the pandemic started.”

For Gai Foskett, MCC New Zealand, the pandemic hasn’t really impacted her work much because she has always done much of her work online.  She said that by doing online coaching she is able to work with people in lots of different countries.  Changes in the lives of clients, however, have allowed her to continue and extend the pro bono work she already does. “I always make time in my schedule for pro bono work because it comes back to my personal values about making a difference,”

The ICF Foundation Gift of Coaching Awards program has always showcased the power of coaching in mission-driven organizations. This year, as the world was turned upside down and the future never seemed less certain, we recognize that the world needs coaches and coaching more than ever. The 2020 Gift of Coaching Awards will celebrate and recognize the work of ICF Members, Chapters and Credential-holders who have supported their communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Did you conduct a pro bono initiative that supported first responders? We invite you to submit your story of how the Gift of Coaching amplified the impact of our world’s essential workers. Apply here.

Without a doubt the changes the pandemic has brought to the office place and the coaching world are considerable, but we are finding ways to meet our needs and the needs of those who count on us.  In spite of the challenges, we are thriving in this new environment and helping others as well.