Part One: The Way We Work
There are some things—most things, actually—that will never go back to the way they were before Coronavirus made its ugly return as COVID-19, or SARS-CoV-2.
The way we work is a focal point for many with substantial changes happening top-to-bottom and side-to-side.
For some, working from home is business as usual, but for others, it’s a completely new experience—some organizations aren’t comfortable with their employees working offsite, while others embrace contractors and freelancers close to home and abroad.
Then there are those who fall in between, splitting time working remotely as well as at the office.
It’s a learning curve for everybody involved with lessons being taught each day. Sometimes, every hour.
- We’re finding out that those meetings really could have been emails
- The late majority and laggards are adopting technology out of necessity
- And corporations are realizing how important their people are (staff and customers)
Some of you are discovering that working from home is exactly what you needed to reconnect with the most enjoyable elements of your job. Others see the distractions of home life as being too many to remain focused and be productive.
And let’s not forget about essential workers; their worth shifting from being purely economical to becoming a vital cog to our survival—our expressions of thanks must be what follows suit.
Three ways to work within the new abnormal
Firstly, the organizations, entrepreneurs, and small businesses who embrace flexibility will survive and thrive in the months to come.
Being versatile during and after the pandemic is Darwinism at work. Here’s how to become one of the fittest:
- Identify which pivotal shifts offer long-term solutions and adopt them over those with short-term gain
- Work with employees and partners as individuals and provide them the ideal working environment based on their unique needs
- Place the needs and pains of your people above your own and show genuine commitment to providing solutions
Secondly, intrinsic rewards are more valuable than external incentives—the carrot is more satisfying than the stick.
Self-care and internal happiness are more important than ever, and wise leaders are showing compassion by guiding their followers to personal fulfillment. And here’s why:
- A crisis highlights what’s truly important in people’s lives taking the focus away from extrinsic motivators
- Unhappy employees and dissatisfied customers will no longer tolerate mismanaged organizations and poor work environments
- Loyal fans and team members are drawn to businesses and mentors who prioritize health and happiness
Thirdly, virtual events, workshops, seminars, conferences, and meetings are here to stay—those who adapt quickest, finding ways to be digitally creative and engaging, benefit the most.
The future is happening right now, don’t wait for a past that isn’t going to return. Come up with a modern strategy, and put it into action:
- Open yourself up to global collaboration and separate yourself from an ‘us versus them’ mentality
- Invest in technology while learning to understand the humans whose lives are impacted by your decisions
- Accept that some physical events are gone forever and identify those that will benefit from complementary virtual experiences
Your comfort zone turned inside out
Finally, consider how your work has changed based on your willingness to step outside your comfort zone to establish fresh habits and adopt innovative methodologies.
While the road ahead is uncertain, you’ll find you still have control over your future—take hold of the wheel and drive.
The digital revolution is here; you can develop new skills at the click of button, brainstorm with colleagues all over the world, and learn how to do just about anything through online content.
And you can change the narrative whenever you want.
Currently, Coronavirus is forcing us to change the way we work whether we want to or not. But when we reach the other side, don’t forget the lessons you learned along the way.
To sum it up, I’ll leave you to ponder Charles R. Swindoll’s perspective on attitude and how it relates to our present environment.
“Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church….a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”Charles R. Swindoll
Has the way you work changed?
What are you learning about yourself, and how can you shift your attitude and make the most of the new abnormal?
Let’s continue our blue-collar prediction of the future in part two.