As the uncertainty of Covid-19 sets in a new workplace starts to take shape. Many teams, like ours at Nomat, started the work from home routine a week ago, for us it was a scary decision, but we believe the right one. When you go from daily contact with colleagues and working as a tight knit team, to home on your lonesome, along with monitoring the minute to minute updates about the state of the virus, it can be paralysing, isolating and totally out of the ordinary. I have learnt very quickly how critical work is to our daily lives.
The very serious threat that Covid-19 represents and the very real changes it brings to our day to day lives, requires all within the business community to listen to the experts within the health profession and support them to get on with their jobs. We need to support our staff in every way we can to keep themselves and the community safe. Make the safe decisions, support those who need it and follow the guidance we are being given. The next step however, if you are well, is to get cracking and get working.
With many businesses and teams already a week or two into working remotely, the questions becomes, how do we get on with it? What does working from home at scale really entail, and how can we utilise what we already know about the benefits of work to encourage people to move beyond being paralysed by the future and back to getting things done.
For some, being at home will be a welcome relief from the anxiety of being surrounded by others and a nice change of pace, for others it will be essential to shield themselves from the potentially debilitating illness which is upon us. For many, it is about to be an enormous juggle to manage children and work all in the one venue and for some, the lack of being surrounded by colleagues will be isolating, demotivating and potentially a strain on their mental health.
But if you can, work is good, work is important, in fact, work could be essential to support ourselves through this all.
Work, albeit remotely, provides so much to our community and to the individuals that it is comprised of:
- Work gives people a sense of purpose, a reason to get up each day and contribute
- Work creates a sense of belonging and promotes interaction with others
- It provides structure and routine in which we humans thrive
- Work supports individuals financial security, our leave entitlements will only last a short while
- Work provides intellectual stimulation
- Work is critical for our economy, it keeps the wheels of industry turning
So, innovate your works practices, FaceTime with your team in the morning, set goals for the day. Check in with on another, keep normal conversations flowing, talk about the TV you watched last night, get your favourite work buddy live on your screen and keep them there during the day, chat when you need too, make sure you know what each other are doing. Talk about work, talk about projects, talk to your clients, talk to your customers, find out what they are doing. Make meetings happen, deliver workshops online, keep projects moving forward, keep getting shit done. Because now is a great time to keep working, for everyones sake because as Sigmund Freud once said “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.”