Three Ways 2020 Has Changed The Way We Work
Whilst accepting that the effects of Covid-19 will continue to influence the way we work for some time to come we are genuinely optimistic about moving forwards over the coming months. And we’re hearing the same from our partners as our meetings and workshops are taking on a more progressive feel and our discussions increasingly focus on what’s possible and how we might achieve it.
Of course, the way we deliver our work had to completely change across 2020, and for the first few months were almost in a holding pattern – waiting to return to “normality” but now, nearly a year on, things are different. We’re now reflecting on how to ensure we keep the things which worked; the new habits, the new appreciation or the new technology whilst we slowly get to benefit from the new freedoms ahead.
- Make sure to find ‘achievement’ even at the smallest level:
Mindfulness, taking time to think, being with family and friends, going for a walk, eating healthy, staying fit and concentrating on your breath will all make a huge difference to staying well and being happy. Something else that works is a sense of achievement. A feeling of success releases endorphins and serotonin. In our fast-paced world before Covid, many of our clients and partners were driving hard for regular achievement, and it worked well for them, despite the accompanying stress and pressure. Post Covid, finding sources of achievement became more challenging and we were forced to look inward and to the small details and find progress in different ways. We suggest looking at a few areas in your life to consider where you can achieve:
- A realistic goal to do a run or walk in a certain time or reach a certain distance can be a stimulating challenge that makes you feel good when you achieve it. And if this isn’t your thing, there are loads of quick exercise challenges online – some that don’t even require you to get out of your chair!
- Just do it. Goals can help, but you don’t need goals to achieve. Sometimes stopping the thinking and torment of working out what is best will allow you to sit down and get something done. Laura finally sorted out her filing system during lockdown 1 – this approach to achievement can be just the reward you need to get into the flow and move on to more and harder tasks.
- Clean your desk. It’s not always procrastination. Getting something simple done will give you a greater sense of control and fulfil that urge to achieve.
- We CAN connect with each other online
- We’ll be keeping the technology, in particular for 1-2-1. We won’t be tempted to return to having all of our meetings and training sessions face to face as soon as we’re allowed! We’ve worked with teams, coaching, leadership development and innovation since the epidemic started. We can’t claim it’s better (or worse) than face-to-face – it is different. But we can see the benefit of coaching someone who is relaxed at their kitchen table, rather than in a formal office environment. Or using technology to collect the thoughts of a group as they share them. It works. Conversations happen, connections are made and work has progressed.
- Relationships can be built via Zoom. People have had quizzes, bake-offs, online drinks and coffee time in the virtual arena. Why not go further? Bring a picture with you to the meeting to talk about your work, how you are feeling or what you hope to achieve. Then try bringing an object next time. What about using your phone instead of the computer, sit somewhere different and give people a different view (just be careful about what you are showing though – see what happened when a guest on BBC Wales didn’t audit what she had on display on her bookshelves here).
- Try different tools. Zoom, Teams, Facetime, MSN Messenger, WhatsApp – they all feel distinct and have their own strengths. Try them out with teammates. It feels different and creates different conversations.
- Sharing a picture of success became even more important
- Building a common vision and creating a picture of success are our most powerful tools with clients. It might seem odd to think beyond the end of this year now we are just starting to think about when things will open up but it will lift you. It will remind you there is more to aim for and provide a real sense of hope to you, your organisation and customers. It’s an essential part of who we are that we can imagine the future and hope. It will help everyone identify a handful of tasks to get on with that aren’t just about surviving. It may even open up a whole new area of work and innovation.
- For us, we re-visited our vision of being a partner of choice for complex organisations with a desire to change and adapt and it’s opened up not only some great ‘blue sky’ discussions about where we want to take things, but also led to some more structured, strategic thinking about how we might go about achieving the vision. Although we haven’t yet concluded our business planning work (version 10 and counting!) it means that we have a much better idea about what we want to focus on, who we want to work with and where the major gaps are. Without the initial work on the vision we would not be in the position to create the more complex and detailed plans to guide us on our journey towards where we want to be.
If nothing else, this kind of thinking has helped us to add new things into our team meetings. Devoting some space to considering how we should plan for what is going to be available to do and when we might do it can be stimulating and help you get to know more about those you work alongside. And boy are we going to appreciate sitting together as a team one this is all over!
As always, we can help you consider all of this (and more) as you lead your teams out of the pandemic. So if you feel the time is right and you want to know what we can do to help please get in touch.