20+ days in lockdown to stave off the Covid-19 virus – what are you learning about yourself and your environment?
So after many working days including a long ‘holiday’ weekend in a Working-from-Home (WFH) “environment”, am I safe and well? Yes, I guess so, at least I know I’m safer in that I don’t share the virus with others. But self-isolation means I want to share my thoughts on survival in this invisible battle, the sometimes-cacophonous silence, and worry about severe health consequences from a stranger.
Working fit and healthy…and changing
- Space and Anxiety
Most of us follow the Covid-19 rules of hygiene and distancing if we do have to venture out for essential services like food shopping and medical attention. Well, those with space do and now with less social chit-chat, our working minds realize how much more difficult this is with high-density living in a few meter’s free spaces. We visualize a danger we don’t see. Feel the potential effect on others, not just us. That’s the real danger…No place for bravado or selfishness.
- Communication and Time
Virtual conference meetings typically no longer than 30 minutes or less if we can, with few invited participants satisfying our need for “face to face”. Faster info sharing, rapid decision making, and immediate actions started during the meeting…Effective collaborative business.
Committing to complete actions by a date – we do it! Not waiting for management push, rather taking ownership because we have less interruption, more focus and yes, we want to be busy…And we schedule our time effectively.
Availability – we’re “rooted” at home or at one place during the lockdown. Deeply reliant on Outlook calendars. We plan our days/weeks to give mutual visibility because we can’t just pop into a colleague’s office. We’re respecting our colleagues’ and customers’ schedules as they do ours, leading to faster activity processing. Our output and accuracy go up…We’re more efficient.
Our work environment and ecosystem have changed BUT we still do business with customers. We don’t fly or drive there, which means we save hours a day. So we’re more contactable because our movement is constrained and again…And we still want to do business.
- Sharpening the Saw
Everyone devotes time to rethink old problems, complete our own admin, or sort issues that have bugged us for a while. In the Service Industry, we can clear overdue SYSPRO ERP and Technical maintenance, pro-bono customer work, to clear the way in this cash-tight Strange New World where Big Brother has no need to watch us…So we’re higher revenue-focused when the doors open again.
Finally, there is online self-learning – in our case the SYSPRO Learning Channel (SLC) where a Myriad of brain loading and mind-stretching knowledge can be absorbed.
This is Business Unusual but I’m sure it’s changing the way we work forever. Lockdown and WFH with a growing mix of eerie anticipation and raging fear will lead to a new Business Usual. At the end of these days, you already feel “I really achieved something today”.
It was intense but a good day…I’m tired but less stressed.
Work is different, but we still need recreation and social interaction – a break occasionally. Here are some suggestions I gathered:
- Do at least one unexpected action for a customer every day – you’ll feel better and so will they
- Keep in touch with your team, special colleagues or friends – have a remote chat every now and again not always about work – how we are all doing and coping
- Stop for coffee or tea breaks away from your working spot – walk around your garden if you have one, sit outside and feel the day – breath the air – listen to the quiet
- Stop for lunch and talk to your family or play with your kids or call someone who is likely to be alone – particularly if you’re also alone
- Change your “office chair” regularly
- Don’t watch too much news – but keep in touch
- Call someone you haven’t spoken to for ages to catch up – make someone happy – do the unexpected – and you’ll feel good too
- Ration your evening beer, wine or cool drink
- Do some novel exercises – catch up on a hobby – TV/Movies become draining – your eyes get sore and your brain goes numb
- Catch up on sleep and rest
- Believe we are fighting this fight together, the right way and winning – the future has a wobble but will still be all right.
In summary, this virus is helping us evolve and to work in a more planned and scheduled way, more disciplined. We are taking care to deal with accuracy and facts quickly. We are applying our intelligence and human learning. We’re adapting our processes to work optimally in a new environment. Imagine applying this philosophy to using your ERP system…Take care and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.