National crises often create innovations that change our way of life. The Civil War affirmed the integrity of the Union, ended slavery and generated 3 constitutional amendments. The Great Depression and World War II completely redefined the role of American government and moved the United States from an isolated country to the world stage as a superpower. The coronavirus outbreak is no exception. This international crisis has changed the way we shop, live, and work. As more companies have moved to a more digital workforce, we wanted to share 3 things we learned about working remotely from COVID-19.
1. We Learned That We Are All Human
I know. This doesn’t sound like a big revelation. Obviously, we’re all human. But how many times have we felt anxious heading into an important meeting, or while preparing for a client call? It’s only natural, as we want to present ourselves at our very best.
This can be a challenge during the best of times, but COVID-19 presented us with unique hurdles. In addition to working remotely, many of us were also simultaneously homeschooling and taking care of our children. With schools and daycares closed, the traditional advice along the lines of “keep clearly defined working hours” and designate a quiet room in your home as a home office” didn’t quite apply.
But then something unexpected happened. We learned that our clients, our bosses, our business partners, were all in the same boat. Working with the tools that they had access to, while simultaneously trying to educate, feed, and take care of their small children. We found ourselves breaking the ice over the noises of childhood wafting in from the background, and finding our conversations a bit more empathetic.
2. We Learned The Value Of Thinking Outside The Box
In the recruiting industry, we have seen some major “outside the box” thinking during this pandemic. We have watched companies hire new individuals without ever having met them in person. We have watched qualified candidates accept new positions across the state without ever having visited the city, or without meeting any of their coworkers in person. A few months ago, this would have been unimaginable.
We have seen companies shift to digital meetings and presentations. We have seen conferences and retreats switched to webinars and virtual events. Internally, companies have found creative ways to stay engaged with their employees. Virtual happy hours and video lunches have replaced in-person activities.
And every industry – from hospitals opting for telemedicine, to schools streaming classes for elementary kids, to gyms streaming fitness and yoga classes, has found creative ways to continue to serve their clients.
3. We Learned The Importance Of Workplace Culture
Culture is so important in the workplace because it either strengthens or undermines your organization. We have all heard of the famous workplace cultures touted by companies like Facebook and Google. It is easy to believe that in order to have a solid workplace culture, all you need is an endless supply of fancy coffees, climbing walls, and a state of the art workout facility.
The truth is, a strong workplace culture comes with a variety of factors, many of which are being highlighted during this time of crisis.
Traits like corporate transparency, celebrating wins both small and large, and having access to leaders are paramount to having a positive work culture. COVID-19 taught us that it’s not the weekly happy hour that matters, but rather, the way leadership keeps us informed, reminds us of what’s working well, and puts thought into anticipating our needs that truly makes a difference.
Where Do We Go From Here?
As we are all continually challenged and stretched both personally and professionally in the weeks and months ahead, it’s important to remember that we are all in it together. If you have questions about improving your workplace culture, building or restructuring teams to streamline and get more efficient, or if you just want a listening ear, your team at Executive Staffing Solutions is here to help. We’d love to hear from you! Contact us here to get in touch.