20 JUN 2020
4 MIN READ
As I write, Scotland has had it’s second day with no COVID-19 deaths, and countries across the world are reducing infection rates and coming out of lockdown. It does feel that we are, for now at least, on a positive trajectory.
With a return to something close to normality now on the horizon, it seems like a good time to reflect on the positives that have come from living and working in lock-down and how these can be maintained.
For me personally the reality of working from home has been something of a revelation. We have completed several large and complex projects as quickly and effectively as we would have done in the office, and I feel that the ongoing account management that we are offering our clients has been at least maintained if not enhanced. In large part this is down to effective communication, which brings me to the first lockdown habit that I’m planning to keep:
Structured Communication – From the outset, the team has had a daily call to discuss the work that’s going through and who’s doing what. We have also increased our use of Microsoft Teams and Trello to track and share work. It has proven very effective and has made me realise that sometimes in the office we tend to all get our heads-down, distracted by our own work demands. When we are all back in the office, I’ll certainly be allocating time for a daily catch-up to make sure we are taking time to share where we are and what support we need.
Inevitably the lockdown has brought volatility and uncertainty within the team and the agency as a whole.
This brings me to the second habit that I will be trying to support and maintain post-COVID:
Agility and Flexibility – Different teams and individuals have faced differing pressures and workloads from one week to the next as the lockdown unfolded. This has been coupled with different domestic situations and demands such as homeschooling. As a team and an agency, we have strived to be agile and flexible enough to accommodate this, moving work between teams and encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone. We have also had to trust people to manage the demands on their personal lives whilst still getting their work done, and this trust has proven to be well-placed. The model of a 9-5.30 working day and fixed teams and responsibilities feels increasingly like an obsolete way of working.
The final habit that I’m looking to maintain is to keep making time to get out with the family. Suddenly being let out only once a day meant that we all made an effort to make the most of it, and we’ve discovered several lovely walks and bike-rides on our doorstep. It’s also led to dozens of funny, interesting and honest conversations, which are a precious thing with tweenage and teenage daughters. We’re planning to try and keep this up as a way of ensuring we get some quality time together as a family.
If we can maintain these habits moving forwards I’m sure we will be more effective, less stressed, and hopefully, a little happier as our lives start to return to normal.
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