If you ask 10 different people to define the year that’s coming to an end tomorrow, you’ll get 10 different answers. Same if you ask 1000. Because 2020 was tough, bumpy, and full of unpredictability in all possible areas. And we can all agree that it has forever changed the way we work and interact, both in doing business and in our private lives.
Experience teaches the best lessons
In the past year, many lessons have been taught, most of them the hard way. Because nobody was fully prepared for the avalanche that came our way in March. Here are three of the most important ones.
Always be prepared
For the past nine months, remote working had a big impact on the economy, redefining workflows and human interaction. With social distancing and lockdown measures in place, implementing work from home and thus relying on virtual teams was the only way for companies to keep their business going. And the same thing happened everywhere in the world.
For those who were implementing remote work for the first time en-masse, adjusting to this new way of working hasn’t been easy at all. Infrastructures had to be re-thought, team communication and collaboration systems revamped, new cyber security measures implemented, and company processes re-written, sometimes from scratch.
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.Alexander Graham Bell
It has been challenging, yet many companies have made it. Adaptability and agility are always rewarded in business, and 2020 makes no exceptions.
Remote is good, but so is face-to-face
According to a poll from PwC, the forecast is that 55 percent of the employees will continue to work remotely even after the pandemic is over. Whenever that will happen…
And yet, the past 9 months proved without a shadow of a doubt that working from home has its downsides as well. The fine line between work and life has become almost invisible. Mental health has never been under so much pressure like this year! According to a recent survey:
- 91 percent of employees who are working from home experience moderate to extreme stress
- 43 percent became physically ill as a result of workplace stress
- 69 percent claim this is the most stressful time in their career.
And last, but not least, think about the working parents that had to put up with homeschooling their kids on top of their remote work.
Therefore, finding a balance between working remote and in-person, face-to-face interaction at work will be the next big thing in the year to come.
You have nothing without communication
Without technology, the very concept of remote work wouldn’t be possible. And same holds true for enabling your people to communicate and collaborate. Because nothing beats the power of teamwork!
It has been proved time and again, through scientific studies, that teams with positive social relationships work more effectively. Unfortunately, with remote work, the usual team building activities and teamwork that drive that engagement can get lost. Because there aren’t any organic, face-to-face interactions, people can become less engaged to the company life and sometimes even feel isolated.
Encouraging people to bond and create connections will help them communicate more effectively and become more productive both individually and as a team.
Keep on working together
None of us knows just how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last. Yet, this past year has forever changed the way we work and interact, both online and face-to-face.
The ability to work together looks much different now than at the beginning of 2020. Yet, even so, we still can stand together no matter how far away!
Wishing you a better, safer, happier, and more prosperous 2021, on behalf of our entire 4PSA team.