How to Take Key Business Cues from a Pandemic
April 7, 2020
The Current pandemic has us all living and working differently. While these conditions are temporary (though it may not feel like it, there will come a day when you can go to your favorite restaurant, work out at your local gym and meet a colleague for coffee) they can provide vital insight into how you can change your business for the better—permanently. All it takes is a closer look at your current M.O.
We guarantee that some of the strategies you’ve put into place for the time being have the potential to cut down on costs, increase productivity and improve interpersonal connections long after social distancing and travel restrictions are lifted. And since you’ve already implemented them, you don’t have to go out on a limb to see if they work once things go back to normal—the proof is in the pudding, and we’ve got a lot of that (along with pasta, beans and toilet paper). So, let’s take a look at the processes, policies and lessons from this unprecedented time that may be worth incorporating long-term.
The High Value Prospect of Working From Home: At this point, the vast majority of us are doing it—firing up our personal computers to tackle our inboxes, stay on top of orders and shipments, communicate with our employees, keep clients and customers happy and more.
While you may have thought an office or storefront was a necessary part of the equation, you may be quickly learning otherwise. If you’ve always believed working from home encouraged bad habits or limited your ability to effectively communicate with your team, you could be seeing for the first time that that’s not necessarily the case.
And as strange as it may seem considering the state of the world, you and/or your employees may be finding more balance at home—and thus more satisfaction. Numerous studies have demonstrated that happier workers simply do a better job—yet another reason why a work-from-home policy may be in order.
If it seems like it would be possible for your operation to exist solely on the internet, consider how much you could save on rent and utilities—not to mention the fact that cutting down on commuting for yourself and your employees also reduces your carbon footprint—all while upping moral. Of course, you don’t have to quit the in-person model cold turkey; it may be as simple as instituting a more flexible policy.
The Power of Limited Time
Perhaps you have kids, and you’re juggling science lessons with work Skype sessions, or alternating teaching responsibilities with your spouse as you each jet off for conference calls in your home office (or, lets be honest, your laundry room). Maybe you’re doing more than just work during the day because you’ve got to track down groceries, walk your fur babies, or negotiate care for elderly relatives. Whatever the case may be, you’re likely finding that the pockets of time you do have are supercharged in terms of productivity.
Tasks that may have taken days in the office may be accomplished in the two free hours you have while your toddler naps, or in the quiet time when everyone else in your home has gone to sleep. You may uncover the solution to a supply-chain conundrum that confounded a boardroom of executives while walking your dog.
What does this mean for your work life post-quarantine? Maybe you don’t have to sit at your desk for twelve hours a day to accomplish your goals. Perhaps you do have time to visit your aging parents or play with your kids after dinner, rather than squeezing in a few extra hours of work. Maybe switching it up and taking a mid-day exercise break is just what you need to power through the afternoon. The bottom line is this: when you put boundaries around the time available to work, you’re likely to find it far easier to hit the mark.
The Purpose Behind It All
Difficult times have the potential to show us who we are and what’s important. We’ve seen this in the news and on social media in spades. Alongside the reports of how many have been sickened, or the volatility of the markets, we’ve gotten to see the generosity of our communities—professionals and businesses included. A photograph of a teacher explaining a math problem to a student through her front door, stories of restaurants and coffee shops delivering food and drink to health care workers on the frontlines and companies pledging to support their employees even while they are closed. They remind us of the ways in which we can give back every day.
Chances are, you’ve taken this opportunity to support your team and community. Consider how you can make the practice an implicit part of your approach today and when the crisis clears. We’ll all be better for it.
Check out all of our COVID-19 resources that we’ve created to get you through this difficult time here.