It's no news that these past few months have not been the easiest. While we talk of remote working and social distancing being the new norm, we must not forget the hundreds of thousands of lives lost globally, and by no means should we consider the continuing daily death rate as a normality.
So let’s take a minute and reflect on the enormity of the situation. It is not to be dismissed or ignored. Only by facing difficult situations can we really overcome them and pull through. And we will pull through. By staying positive and choosing to look at the glass half full we will defeat this undwindling monster that goes by the name “Coronavirus”.
At TalentDesk.io, we’ve had many conversations on how to best prepare ourselves for the situation and its aftermath, and we have chosen to rethink ourselves both as individuals but also as part of something much bigger and with a purpose behind it. Our mission as a team, now more than ever, is to enable businesses to rethink how they work, transforming their workforce to remote, distributed and flexible, and more efficient. But in order to work better as a team, we realised that we need to work on our positivity as individuals too.
Five tips to help you create opportunities through COVID-19
Good mental health is your strongest weapon
Mental health is a subject that is often considered taboo and often classed as a secondary problem. It’s also usually a phrase referred to in a detrimental way; “poor mental health causes problems” etc. We rarely absorb or talk about how crucial good mental health is in success; and in this case, in survival.
“It is during the darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” - Aristotle Onassis
We urge everyone to use this time for self-care; self-care is not a luxury in life that you can afford to skip. So spend this time doing things that help you reset, things that make you happy; be it reading or exercising, mindfulness and meditation, or just enjoying your own company. We finally have the time to care about ourselves, and that is truly a blessing.
“Adapt or die”
This has never been more true as it is today. In a world that has been turned on its head overnight, we’ve all had to adapt to a reality very far from our everyday lives. Things we used to take for granted; like meeting friends at the end of a long week, socialising over drinks, weekend getaways, filling our days and nights with plenty of things to do, from parties to concerts. Had someone asked you three months ago whether you could live as you do now, would you have thought it possible?
What’s interesting is that we have learned to adapt to not having things that we previously thought were crucial to our lives, and we’ve had to do that because the alternative is not an option. We have discovered a level of resilience and flexibility within us that we would never have known existed, and this might, and it should, change our perception of ourselves and our lives forever.
Having a sense of purpose
Having a sense of purpose through these difficult days is truly a blessing; whatever that may be. While many of us probably used to complain about having to wake up early to go to work, face our colleagues, bosses etc., we have now realised the true value in work, and more precisely in doing good work. It’s not about the money that comes in every month, it’s about adding value, whether that is to your business itself, or others. It’s about creating, using your mind’s capabilities to the maximum, learning, achieving, and persevering when things are not going the way you had hoped.
Redefine what your sense of purpose is as a team; what is your common goal? Consider what the driver behind the business is right now; is it acquiring more customers, is it increasing value for your current customers, is it using this time as downtime to improve your product? Whatever it is, make sure you and your team are aligned and that everyone has a sense of purpose to wake up to every morning. It really just might save you.
Resilience is key
Resilient businesses across the globe have proven that in times like these, agility and adaptability are fundamental for the survival of humanity. We’ve all finally realised that celebrities and movie stars are not as praise-worthy as the people on the front line who are working tirelessly to save us; doctors and nurses, supermarket staff, delivery drivers, factory workers; people sacrificing themselves on a daily basis for something bigger than themselves, and bigger than all of us.
Businesses that have not adopted technological advances will struggle to weather the storm, and the winners will be companies who have reinvented themselves in the face of adversity. Since the pandemic, companies like LVMH have been producing hand sanitiser at three of their factories, Dyson has been creating ventilators, 1Rebel has been offering up their gyms for extra hospital beds, and countless fashion companies including the likes of Prada have tirelessly been making face masks.
The biggest mistake you can’t afford to make is to stand by and wait for the crisis to be over, expecting to pick up where you left off. Resilience and agility is key, not only for your own business, but for humanity, and this is a time where we should all come together, finding solutions even in our own small ways, so that together we can pull through. Together we are stronger.
Rethink your business
COVID-19 has probably changed the face of business for good. 88% of businesses have unexpectedly had to shift to remote work due to the pandemic, and it is predicted that the amount of people and businesses permanently working remotely will double post COVID-19.
Meetings are now conducted virtually, (Zoom fatigue is real!), and even sectors that we usually associate with more traditional ways of working, like education for example, have reinvented themselves into innovative online platforms.
Whatever your line of business, we suggest you take this time to rethink your strategy; to spot inefficiencies, overruns, and identify areas in your business where you can improve. Cut unnecessary costs and embrace technology; invest in management systems and in doing things more efficiently and cost-effectively for the long-run.
Ditch your office space if you can’t afford it, re-structure your workforce and use freelancers or external partners as and when you need them. Adopting skilled freelancers on project-basis is a great way to monitor your staff overheads in these difficult times, and make no mistake - this is not a minor glitch; this is the future, and it’s happening now.
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” ― Eric Hoffer
Focus on your people - they will surprise you
Remote working doesn’t need to feel remote. As well as investing in systems to help your distributed teams do work better, communication is key. If you’re worried about the business, share your concerns with your teams. Communicate with them frequently, not just when allocating tasks and tracking their progress, but on a more personal level. Small things go a long way; send care packages to employees that have had to be furloughed - show them that you value them.
Cash is king for your business right now, and if you need to preserve it, there are many things that you can do to save on costs. Cutting overheads and switching to a flexible, on-demand workforce is just one of those things. But preserving cash from existing employees and other parts of the business is also another option that you may want to consider. Cut marketing budgets and ask your team to step it up by being more creative. Don’t be afraid to ask them for things and to push them to transcend their own boundaries; by being open with your workforce you will bring them closer together through this remote time, and they will surprise you.
Let Covid-19 leave us stronger than it has found us. Covid-19 will die down, but don’t let it kill your business in the meantime. Learn from this situation. Every crisis represents an opportunity to rethink everything we do, so that we can do things better in the future; don’t miss it.