So, Now What?

Here we are. Nearly 6 months into 2020. If you’re like me, you’re probably left looking like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. The better part of the last few months have been riddled with grief, fear, uncertainty, and, of course, Murder Hornets. Because OF COURSE  there are Murder Hornets.

Seemingly in the blink of an eye, groups, businesses, and teams across the United States were forced to serve their customers in ways they had never considered. After weeks of stay-at-home orders, working from home, and self-quarantining as a result of COVID-19, states are slowly starting to reopen. But it’s clear that “normal” is still a ways away, and maybe that’s not a bad thing. While one part of you may be excited about the fact of returning to “normal” another part of you may very well be left dazing into space thinking “so, now what?”

Say “buh-bye” to “that’s how we’ve always done it.”

With nearly one-third of the American workforce working from home as a result of the Coronavirus, it’s easy to understand why employers who were once adamant against remote work for reasons ranging from trust to training were hesitant about the transition. Sure, many of us will be returning to normal office life shortly, but that shouldn’t mean that the lessons learned while apart should fall to the wayside.

2, 4, 6, 8, now it’s time to collaborate!

One of the fears I’ve heard among leaders over the last few months was how to keep their employees happy, connected, and engaged while staying apart. Transitioning from a collaborative office to a makeshift-desk office-of-one can be tough even for the most adaptable workers. Using video and chat tools like Google Hangouts or Slack can help teams and employees stay in touch when they’re not face-to-face to share ideas, brainstorm, have a virtual happy hour party, or just check-in on one another.

Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind.

Employers who restrict or limit their employees’ time out of the office often do so out of the fear that because they can’t see them, of course, they’re not doing their work. However, data shows that nearly 25% of remote workers are actually more productive than when they were in-office and cite fewer distractions as the reason. However, just because your team is doing their work and keeping customers and clients happy, doesn’t mean that “no news is good news.” The team at Slack, who knows a thing or two about remote communication says “Daily greetings and regular check-ins...are effective ways to acknowledge and communicate with remote employees…”

Are things perfect right now? They’re far from it. But learning how to adapt, communicate, use digital tools and resources, and stay connected while staying apart has helped our team thrive over the past few weeks. So, what really comes next? I guess I’m not too sure, but we’re all going to find out. Because in case you haven’t heard in every advertisement since March, we are living in unprecedented times, and we’re all in this together.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay connected.

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