As I’m writing this we’re halfway through lockdown 2.0 and last night I had my usual ‘family Zoom.’ We talked about Boris, what we think we should do about Christmas and postponed wedding celebrations; then talk turned to how we’re finding working from home and coping with being furloughed.
My uncle Phil, an electrician and quite the comedian, found great joy in telling us his boss has ‘ordered’ him to take two separate two hour ‘mindfulness breaks’ while he is at work to help him cope with the impact of the pandemic. He’s not allowed to take it at the start or end of a work day and they suggested he read a book, or the paper, or perhaps take up knitting. We all had a good laugh about him knitting us all our Christmas presents in his van between jobs!
While I understand his boss thought this would be a nice positive thing, it didn’t sit quite right with their workforce. I sympathise, it’s hard to get the tone right when suggesting ‘culture activities’ for your team – often what works for one team may not work for another (I would love nothing more than two hours of crafting in the middle of the day). There is a fine line between a nice gesture and a cringeworthy infliction.
Working from home and a furloughed team has thrown an extra spanner in the works for company culture and it has done nothing for the nations mental health according to the BBC who recently shared some tips on how to be happier working at home. At Hive, we’ve noticed an increased need in talking to our team about their wellbeing and how they fit with the new remote working business. When people left the office before March it meant they could switch off, now we’re finding it hard to draw the line between home/ work.
It has also made managing your team more challenging, whether that’s because of the uncertainty your furloughed team felt or helping the ones that weren’t adapting to working from home. You now have to have a level of trust and visibility like never before. Using useful apps like Zoom or Slack can help but while they are great for communication, they don’t necessarily mean improved productivity or replace the need for face to face interactions. We’ve implemented some more successful tools since working remotely, such as our digital agile board and planning tools which have transitioned online quite nicely.
If you are feeling the strain on you and your team and need more freedom and support to help refresh your business, we can help. If you’re thinking about selling your practice or you want to work on the business you have, you need a Diagnostic Day to help you analyse your business. We’ll help you appraise yourself, your team, your financials and your marketing systems to ensure you reach your business goals.