The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced most of us Americans to work from home. As companies, you had to adjust with little to no planning. Many of us are fortunate enough to continue in our paid positions – but from home.The shift to remote work comes with stress, emotions, and significant change. And often, with change comes feelings of uncertainty, confusion, and loss. Not only our space and environment has changed, but we’re also trying to work from home with our families, and care for our loved ones while simultaneously carrying anxiety and stress about the virus and are grieving with our nation and the world. All organizations have an emotional culture, and it needs your attention now more than ever.
As companies make this rather abrupt shift to remote working, they should prepare for their organizational culture to be tested in ways it may not have ever been before. Culture plays an acute role in workplaces and it deeply matters. Focus on the emotional culture within your organizations. Every organization has an emotional culture. Everyone at work must do their part to acknowledge, support, and help nurture the emotional culture. During this climate of uncertainty, things are unpredictable and rapidly evolving; as a result, emotions of employees and leaders and therefore organizational culture is amplified.
Everything we do as humans is based on emotions. Unfortunately, many of your employees will face challenging and necessary decisions amid this pandemic. Self-awareness and conducting checks on how emotions, positive or negative, may be driving work decisions which is important to keep work moving forward in a productive way. Feelings of worry, stress, disappointment, anger, fear, and panic could lead to a negative impact on team performance, organization, and the way we experience our work and workplaces. Being mindful that these emotions are present helps to release the control they have over us and mitigate the negative impact they have on our actions and decisions.
People look to their jobs for more than just a source of income, but a source of purpose, meaning, identity, happiness, and community. Many of your workers feel a sense of place, community,we are less connected to friends and family because of our limited contact with them as we practice social distancing and self-quarantining. Most people are social creatures who don’t function well without it. Small purposeful actions make a big difference.It’s important to remember that change is individual and very personal. How organizations and leaders react and respond to this rapid and forced change will set the stage for how employees react and respond.
Things are very fluid right now and increased flexibility in thought, mind-set, expectations, time, behavior, structure, routine, communication,will help to mitigate resistance to change. Processes and policies are important to know how to navigate in a remote environment, but too much may cause pushback and frustration while there are so many other things to think about right now.
Everyone found themselves suddenly dealing with an over-stretched and imbalanced work-life. Your colleagues who are working parents have all of a sudden three full-time jobs at the same time- employee, childcare teacher, and principal. Partners and roommates now have 24-hour interaction. Routines and schedules have been eliminated and everyone’s patience is being tested. Be adaptable with expectations and focus on results.
Prioritize Thoughtful and Transparent Communication
People are processing plenty of information and are having trouble separating what’s relevant and useful from what’s not. The way you communicate is extremely important. Don’t assume that just because you communicated something that people are fully aware. Communicate early, often, through multiple channels, and with as much transparency as possible. It’s better to over-communicate than to under-communicate.
Listen To Each Other
Engagement takes a little extra time and effort, but there is considerable power in involving and listening especially during times of change. People will feel cared for and feel heard. Most importantly they will feel valued.
This crisis is complicated, it’s scary. It may not be easy to find gratitude during difficult circumstances, make a choice to express your appreciation to others. The power of a sincere and meaningful “thank you” may be exactly what someone needs to hear.
We are in this together.
Though everyone is different and will respond to these adjustments in their own way, the one unifier of people in the workplace is our desire to connect with each other. In this time at Ideal Office Solutions we are here for you. During this time if your office needs experienced professionals will manage every aspect of your workplace needs and are still here to help!