It’s getting dark out there – the next wave of working from home challenges
The top end of the northern hemisphere is coming into its long dark winter, the clocks are going back and many of our countries are experiencing a second wave of COVID infections and worries about jobs and the economy.
Many organisations did a great job of giving their people a rapid infusion of working from home skills back in the spring that helped people cope with the initial transition. We trained thousands of people, new to wfh over this period around the world. There was a huge desire to connect, share experiences and get some practical tools to help.
In the summer, an easing of the situation in many countries and the better weather made things more bearable. Being able to get outdoors and see friends and family helped a lot with what was still a new situation for many people.
Now it is getting darker out there – longer nights and no immediate end in sight. People need another positive boost to build optimism and resilience and to give them some new skills and ideas on how to work sustainably from home in the medium to longer term.
In the New York Times article “July is the new January, More Companies Delay Return to the Office” a Harvard Business School professor who studies remote work said that the postponement of return dates is a “psychological blow for those who expected this to be a transition phase,” said. “The reality is hitting that, ‘There won’t be a vaccine as I expected very quickly. This is going to be my life, and I’d better learn how to do this.’”
Harvard Business School recently asked 600 CEOs: What is keeping you awake at night during this global pandemic? A major concern was “how to keep employees motivated when their world is crashing around them”
As people realise that there will be sporadic periods of working from home and local lockdowns until vaccines have achieved fairly widespread distribution, they are looking to make the working from home experience more sustainable.
Most of our clients are already working on the assumption that the future will be hybrid where they work from home at least part of the week. Other organisations have already announced permanent working from home or virtual first strategies.
As part of our normal (for the last 26 years) focus on remote and virtual team training, the specific issues we are actively working with clients on today include balancing productivity with resilience, sustainable working from home, visibility, wellbeing and creativity when working remotely. We are helping participants to establish positive boundaries, habits and routines that deliver results, allow for renewal, and enable the work life balance they want.
Do your people need a boost with some personal development that really helps them cope with the winter to come?
Please get in touch to find out more.
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