Helping Employees Through COVID-19

With COVID-19, several companies have transitioned employees from physically working in the organization to virtually working from home. Although this is a major adjustment for many, this may be the opportunity to try a new arrangement. There are specific challenges to staying focused on work in a less than ideal work from home space.

Let’s get a giggle here and share some personal scenarios:

  • The dog/pet wants attention and won’t stop whimpering/barking to go out or play;
  • The kids are hungry every couple of hours and seem to have forgotten that there are times for lunch break that doesn’t revolve around them being bored;
  • The phone is pinging and dinging from friends, family and coworkers wanting to talk about COVID-19 facts, fiction and otherwise;
  • There’s no real reason to move from the desk/workspace. Sometimes just getting up from the chair hurts;
  • Routine is out the window and you don’t know what day it is or what time to do anything;
  • Netflix has become a substitute for social interaction or any other responsibility;
  • And…so many more examples.

When working from home, financial pressures, rela@onship challenges, deadlines and commitments that just don’t seem to end, weigh heavily on you and not allow you to fully “show up” at work.

How can you take a leadership role and help yourself and your employees stay virtually engaged at work?

It seems like a question worth answering, and yet for many, the question brings overwhelming anxieties about the impossibility of making it work. It can be very useful to try to keep things in perspective by seeing things as a choice.

We can choose to have any perspectives we want, and sometimes we simply need help to see it in a different way and watch the positive energy spread to the employees virtually around you. Here are three tips to help you and your team keep perspective:

  1. Change things up – Change up your routine a little. Try a short standing webinar or going to a different location within your house. Use another venue or even, bundle up and spend some time outside as laptops are portable. By simply changing your environment, you change the way you might process information and allow for greater creativity and innovative ideas to surface. It doesn’t have to be a big change. Reposition your desk, put on something new or post a motivating quote.
  2. Be grateful – The growing research out there tells us that simply being grateful positively impacts your mental and emotional state. It may sound crazy, but people actually self-report being happier when they give regular gratitude in their life. Grateful people seek out more successes and end up drawing more success to them. The more you give gratitude, the more you’ll get what you are grateful for. And the best part is, it makes others like to communicate with you! So make gratitude part of your regular virtual meetings and watch transformation occur.
  3. Focus on what’s important – You can’t take anything with you in the end and when you look at what really matters to you, it’s probably not money, fame or material things. Think about what’s important and focus some time on those things. Maybe it’s being with friends, having your favourite coffee or simply reading a book you’ve been meaning to get to. Take the time to ask yourself what’s important and make it a priority. Give employees permission to do the same and allow them more freedom to engage in those activities. You will definitely want to encourage your employees to not continue working past the set work hours as this is easy to do when you are at home…no burnout!

By helping you and your team focus on these areas, your team might enjoy the transformation from a physical to a virtual workplace.