#1 Processes are important
The saying “Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail” was almost too real four months ago when majority of those with desk jobs were uprooted from the office and placed into their make-shift home working spaces. We needed a global strategy in preparation for a pandemic prevention program but in actuality none of us could ever really fully prepare for what ensued. What we can prepare for is what to do in reaction to this possibility. “You can’t control life events, but you can control how you react to them” (1) is this circumstance going to break you or is it going to shape you?
“You can’t control life events, but you can control how you react.” (1)Karen Roby, TechRepublic
What practices do we need to be aware of to alleviate the stresses in the future?
#2 Communication is key
You know what I’ve found hard during this time of lockdown and quarantine? Strolling up to someone’s desk and asking for something rather than emailing and waiting for them to get back to you. The ability to communicate centrally and successfully is imperative. Where easy communication now lacks, platforms like Slack need to make up for. Keep the conversation alive and don’t be afraid to start non-work related conversations. Navigate this together, it’s okay to ask someone how they’re genuinely doing.
Work on your internal communications. Do you have a newsletter? What is the companies baseline way of communication? Is there a social committee? Make sure the higher-ups have taken the time to consider what to do with their staff. Invest in the following:
- an internal communication system, such as Skype or Slack
- a project management system, such as Asana, Trello or Jira
- a time tracker, like Time Doctor or Hubstaff
- a remote meeting system, such as Zoom or Google Meet.
#3 Is people-centricity a post-covid necessity?
Something else that lockdown has taught us is that it’s all about people. People matter. As a nation we haven’t ever had to deal with a pandemic as large as this one, there needs to be grace, empathy and understanding. Men, women and children are now confined to one space. Full-time workers also have to take up the mantle of teacher as well as parent. Loved ones are suffering, dying, isolating and community is needed now more than ever. In 2014 a study found that “workers were happier when they had more trusting, empathic and collaborative relationships with their colleagues” (2) a healthy, thriving, work environment is what companies should strive for.
As a nation we haven’t ever had to deal with a pandemic as large as this one, there needs to be grace, empathy and understanding.
Life can get exhausting, so having business owners understand that and empathise paves the way for an open conversation. Have grace and be kind.
#4 We must remember to humanise the experience.
Colleagues aren’t just numbers. There’s something special in bonding outside of work hours with your colleagues every once in a while. My company held virtual pub sessions and quizzes every so often just to break the ice a little easier. It’ll give people a chance to breathe. To become more of a community and find out ways we can each really be there for each other. It lets people know that they’re not alone. It’s also a great opportunity to give your families a glimpse into work life. It’s such a rarity but you can bridge the gap between both worlds even in such an uncertain time. More human, less robots. We’ve all seen iRobot – not today satan.
More human, less robots.
#5 Poor technology could really be a major deal breaker
Every job is valuable and needed especially as we’re in a period where so many, if not all, employees are navigating remote-working so in terms of IT departments, financial investment should be spent on ensuring things like VPNS are sorted and security is top notch. Poor technology isn’t just an inconvenience, it can be a major deal-breaker and prevent people from maintaining smooth operations/workflow. Let the news stories of cyber security risks fuel you to put the necessary measurements and precautions to protect your workforce from any possible risks.
Poor technology isn’t just an inconvenience, it can be a major deal-breaker and prevent people from maintaining smooth operations/workflow.