The pandemic has influenced our daily lives greatly, but we must adapt and keep moving forward. This can be especially hard if you’re in a position overseeing a team and large projects. Here are some tips to help make this task easier.
Don’t Think About the Pandemic
What are your responsibilities regardless of the current situation? How many people are you responsible for? What are the ongoing projects? What are future projects you have to plan for?
Write a step-by-step list about your day, and how you would do these everyday tasks if you were in the office.
This step really helped me gain perspective and see the bigger picture which in reality means seeing that we don’t need to recalculate the entire workflow.
I then continued to highlight all the steps that became impossible due to the pandemic and only concentrated on altering those. Some examples:
- Annual meeting = needs to be held on a platform.
- Paperwork became digital = we need an entirely new filing system.
- Live presentations and preparations = we need a platform where we can brainstorm, sketch, talk. Then a platform where we can present. (This platform needs to be easily accessible, for guests with less experience).
Don’t Start From Scratch
Every day I see companies and organizations trying to master this change and fail. And the reason is they are recalculating the entire process when you only need to readjust some points I talked about earlier and leave the rest untouched. Don’t overthink it, just tweak it a little, and remember: this is something you want to spend the least amount of time on. The more you spend on it, the slower the adjustment goes.
Have a United Front
Another place some people fail is unity. There needs to be one person who calls the shots. You only need one platform, one filing system, and not have everyone choose whatever might be close to their hearts, because that just creates a giant mess. And no one wants to teach 5 different platforms to 67 people. This needs to be decided on day one and needs to be communicated clearly. You could even offer a ‘masterclass’ where you announce what you’ll be using, and teach everyone how. Have an IT person ready, to help people set it all up, and home we go!
This is Hard
Recalculating, readjusting the entire company will be hard for you, and hard for the team. This entire situation is hard for everyone, and working from home is a struggle even for the best of them.
That’s why I recommend doubling the strength of your HR team. This doesn’t mean hiring new people. This means taking the time to concentrate on things you normally wouldn’t in the office.
These are some things I did to make this adjustment easier:
- Having lots of short meetings instead of a weekly three-hour meeting: this meeting could be daily, close to the start of the day. Doesn’t have to be serious, just a check-up, and a summary of the daily tasks.
- Ask about wellbeing: this could be something you already do if so, do it more often. Have some key questions ready to quickly identify if someone’s struggling.
- If you are not the type of person or boss to be asking about people’s personal lives, that’s okay. I’m like that too, I don’t want to pry. What I did was to let everyone know about new opportunities they could live with to make their lives easier. For example:
- The equipment they could take home
- More days off
- Flexibility in work hours if their daily lives changed (children are also home, they have new responsibilities, etc.)
Trust me, they will use these opportunities, and will only be more motivated.
Seeing other companies struggle, and having gone through the struggle myself, I can testify that if you do these few things, it will make your life much easier. And if you think you did something wrong, don’t worry, it’s never too late to change the rules, start from the top.
And remember: everyone’s struggling. Just struggle one step at a time, and you’ll do great.