Burn-out. Isolation. Fear. Confusion.
It probably goes as no surprise that those aren’t the best conditions for novelty and creativity, and it certainly doesn’t create a sense of belonging amongst your team. Unfortunately, coronavirus is here for a while, and there is nothing we can do about it except for adjusting operations throughout the company.
According to IEEE Spectrum, more than 70% of employees are afraid to go to the office, and more than 45% already blame corona for negatively impacting their productivity.
The virus shall not pass! Prepare your office environment for the second wave of COVID-19
While you don’t have Gandalf on your side to cast some magic and prevent virus spread in your office - consider implementing simple obligations and limits for employees. Even though it has nothing to do with wizardry - these still can save lives.
Stay. At. Home.
It’s really important to make your employees stay at home even if they have got minor symptoms such as cough, headache or mild fever. But, in case anyone has been “shot” - DON`T PANIC! Again, stay at home, call your doctor, get Netflix and start recovering.
From the management perspective, give a call to an ill person at least 3 times a week - share some love. It eventually will help your employee get better faster!
Keep Personal Protective Equipment on Hand
"Know your enemy, know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril." - Sun Tzu, the Art of War.
The metaphor of battle and/or war is often used in the infectious diseases field, and, unfortunately, we are at war with coronavirus. Hence, aggressive supply chain management shall be applied, so make sure you scale in the supply of pharmaceuticals and PPE at your office environment.
Make sure you wash surfaces with a clean cotton cloth, get enough antiseptics, and don’t touch your eyes!
COVID Office Policy
One of the earliest known depictions of a handshake is an ancient Assyrian relief of the 9th century BC depicting the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III shaking the hand of the Babylonian king Marduk-zakir-shumi I to seal an alliance.
Teams should also come up with a policy on COVID in order to provide further health protection in their office environment. And the first one is quite simple - no handshakes. We do understand that we shake hands since the 9th century BC when the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III shook the hand of the Babylonian king Marduk-zakir-shumi I to seal an alliance. Since we don’t need to acquire trust of each other - to greet each other the nod should work.
Also, it’s better to cough and sneeze as far away from your employees as it’s possible. Just in case, you know.
But what if we all are pushed back to isolation? Is that so scary for business?
No. Well, yes - if you are not prepared.
Companies that rely on daily communication (meaning almost every industry) must be ready to provide all employees across organizations with a secure and reliable way to communicate with each other, not only verbally but visually. Based on ZDNet research, 44% of the remote workforce are using video conferencing. And we know why.
We are itching to see each other not only because of loneliness or thirst for social life - employees may experience communication struggles due to a lack of non-verbal clues.
Dr. Albert Mehrabian's 7-38-55% Rule
Dr. Albert Mehrabian suggests we engage with another person through words with only 7% when through body language, the number goes up to 38%, and through voice - 55%. Imagine trying to make a critical decision using 7% of the information.
This is why we inspire our customers to use video conferencing calls instead of chatting when discussing projects or giving critiques to an employee. People may sound rough and aggressive while texting. But giving it the right tone mixing with a body language - you won’t look harsh or rude unless you want to, of course.
Listen to Them
Since employees don’t have all those small talks with a cup of coffee and a cigarette at the office, make sure there is an easy way for them to set up a chat with you. Let them speak and make sure you listen. All your operations and product delivery depend on the organization’s productiveness, which comes from mental resilience and satisfaction.
One of the best practices is to create an “open-hour” window on Skype, MS, Google Calendar, or any other tool you have got used to so your remote employees have an idea when your door is open. This ensures you can go through a variety of topics and cover itching issues.
Make online tools for brainstorming remote-friendly
Remote workers are at a clear disadvantage when there is a need to bounce and brainstorm ideas with their team members. But there are things you can do to ease their life by optimizing the process.
Based on the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners, making visual content the best way to drive the message home, not to mention the fact that we process images for as little as 13 milliseconds!
Here at LiveWebinar, we have already seen a spike on using visual instruments. Leveraging online tools like Prezi, infographics, and video conferencing will help to interact and engage with the audience, making them listen to you. We are visual creatures in the end.
People have been using visual instruments for a while. For instance, Abraham Lincoln often referred to a map that “bore the marks of many services”.
Back to 2020, utilizing online instruments will avoid disruption in remote management by engaging and connecting with the team through visual instruments to provide best alignment.
Remote work is figured out. Let’s work on remote сulture.
It’s not only about meetings, screen shares, and presentations, or securing company data - culture leaders must figure out how to knit one’s team together, helping them be more productive, resilient, and mentally healthy.
29% percent of Americans consider COVID-19 a high threat to them personally, putting remote work here for a while. We must adjust and live with that unless the scientist workforce figures out a vaccine.
For instance, one of the ways HRs can utilize LiveWebinar or other communications tools to unite people is to create a habit and culture of sharing stories daily.
Storytelling is as ancient as humankind itself, and neuroscience reveals that our brains are wired to respond profoundly to stories. When we listen to stories, our brains start to synchronize with the storyteller creating a connection that helps us develop empathy and enhances attitudes and performance. It does not have to be Steve Job’s success story - sharing thoughts about the recent Netflix movie would be enough.
In the workplace, stories can drive more profound relationships with colleagues, team unity, and higher performance. Consider throwing a video conference party on Fridays, and don’t forget to get a beer!
*By the way, did you know that Einstein’s best friend at work helped him to develop the theory of special relativity? He revolutionized physics on the next day after mulling upon the thought-provoking discussion with his friend.
The virus is fostering a climate of fear and unproductiveness. The question is - how to knit the team back together despite being physically apart? The answer is quite simple - help them speak.
Coronavirus changed the way we live, and that’s for a while, making people do what they are best at - adjust and move forward. Do daily video ramp-ups; use Prezi presentations; leverage LiveWebinar to do team building events; improve your company’s culture itself.
We are not saying you have to find the way to build the Star Trek engine for USS Enterprise (why not? You’d make Elon Musk quite happy) but connecting with colleagues may help you to grow a friendship, get some useful insights or simply enjoy the chat after a hard day. With LiveWebinar, the sky's the limit!