Mark here. My first post about our collective situation was about finding calm in everything you do, sometimes unexpectedly.
My latest thinking, all these weeks later, is about another word entirely... Something that is just as hard to find as calm is – balance.
We have not merely been 'working from home', we have been working through a global crisis.
This is stressful for us all, so how do we balance the need to recalibrate our expectations of how productive we can be versus the need to protect ourselves and the businesses of our clients in the longer term by carrying on where we can?
We have all been caught in the ambiguity to uncertainty stages of ‘change’ but the time will come where this change becomes more manageable as long as we work through it and continue to look for growth.
It’s a trade-off of short-term flexibility and future security and, as always, the sweet spot is somewhere in between.
Or, to put on my 'father and husband' hat – “How much do I let my kids get away with?”
So far, my kids are coping with everything pretty well. On the surface anyway, that is. I know that they will be concerned in their own way, even if they don’t articulate it in words all the time.
They still have their responsibilities - as we all do - but that also means giving them a break from time to time. If that means being less ‘forceful’ over school work, chores, or the aftermath of ‘calling their brother a nerd’ - then so be it. Let it go.
Someone wrote a song about that one time - The Beatles I think ;)
(I know, bad joke, don’t '@' me)
"Most of us have embraced it (or at least given it a bloody good go), however we’ve also come to understand those key instances when a shared space is still vital..."
Office space is dead? Long live office space?
We can all agree that remote working is now a real option for our working lives. While for various reasons - personal and business - we’ve previously held back, those barriers have been overcome by sheer necessity.
Most of us have embraced it (or at least given it a bloody good go), however we’ve also come to understand those key instances when a shared space is still vital - those times when an impromptu 15 minute confab can yield the missing piece of the puzzle, and those days when a little shared encouragement around the office is the key ingredient in making progress.
We are human beings, after all - company and direct contact is part of our very DNA and that will remain, come what may.
Of course, the specifics to this need now and in the future have changed, and will affect all of our collective workspaces – but the need will be there, as will a whole new way of keeping remote working flexibility as a key aspect of our lives and businesses.
We’ve another post coming soon that shares more of our thinking as to where ‘shared space’ is a benefit for us. Stay tuned.
But what of responsibilities?
The first priority is of course to ensure all the team are at home, working in as safe a way as possible. But what next?
As mentioned earlier, the business needs to continue short-term so that in the long-term we are all still here. So how do you juggle priorities in a time that nobody has experienced before? In a time where bigger concerns about society and those you love permeate your thoughts every day?
Let's be truly honest, nobody has a clue as to what's next or how best to deal with it.
We are all steering the best way we can and trying to avoid mistakes along the way. Mistakes happen of course, so roll with them and move on. ‘Balance’ in this context is tough to find.
"Businesses, suppliers, customers and employees need to bind together more than ever."
So all of our plans are out the window, then?
Well… they are certainly changed a fair bit, but there’s no need to assume that we have to start again.
We don’t know how bad the economy is going to be and for how long we are going to be in recession but our clients will still need our help and support as they navigate this uncharted territory too. Businesses, suppliers, customers and employees need to bind together more than ever.
We learn much from adversity - some would argue more than when things are going well. Now is not the time to shelve your plans, it’s the time to look at them keenly and adapt, as we come to realise what business will be like in the months and years to come.
It is highly probable that what proved to have value in the past will remain to be valuable in the future. Different. Recognisable. Altered. The same.