April 14, 2020 // By Jeff Nordquist
By now it’s clear that we’re in this for the long haul. COVID-19 will not just “blow over” in a couple of weeks - and even after things settle down, our corporate landscape may not look exactly like it did before.
The pandemic has created a slew of challenges on many levels. Most importantly, it’s affecting families, causing illness, isolation, and fear. It has changed the way we shop for groceries, the way our children learn, and the way we communicate with our friends.
At work, many people have lost their jobs entirely, while others (like healthcare workers) are in high demand and risk their lives every time they go to work. Those of us “in the middle” - lucky both to have a job and be able to do it from home - should count our blessings and do our best to keep things running smoothly.
I’d like to offer a few thoughts for people in leadership roles as we all hunker down together:
Try New Things
How many of us had attended a “Zoom Happy Hour” before a couple of weeks ago? How many companies seriously considered hosting their PPI meetings (with over 200 people) entirely online?
We’re seeing new, creative uses for technology day by day - sometimes hour by hour. Embrace this! It might be the best opportunity we’ll ever have to experiment with new ways of doing things.
Take Care of Yourself First
I’ve posted this before, but to be honest I’ve had a hard time following my own advice - so I’m saying it again. :) Everything you used to do to take care of yourself is even more important now. Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, keep your coping mechanisms in check (whether it’s snacking, alcohol, or binge-watching Netflix). And don't beat yourself up if you slip a little. It’s not about perfection - it’s about balance.
Find the Hidden Opportunities
Embrace the good things at work and at home. They’re not always obvious, but they are there. For example:
- Forced isolation has been a challenge for my family, but in the past week we’ve racked up several Zoom happy hours, a couple of HouseParties, and far more phone conversations than ever before.
- My company has always been distributed, but our internal Teams channels have never been so active. That’s allowed us to keep delivering high quality and value for our clients, but we’re also learning more and getting to know each other better.
- My kids miss their after-school activities, but we’ve had more family walks in the past 2 weeks than we had all last summer.
Wishing all the best for you and your family!