By Virginie Briand, Owner and Managing Partner Consulting
With each day, the COVID-19 headlines become more alarming. It is clear that the threat from the virus is continuing to grow, and at a rapidly accelerating rate. We are all swiftly, and rather impressively, adapting to the personal and professional changes required of us to play our part in this difficult situation; getting used to our new rituals of social distancing, remote working, measured hand washing, home schooling, and travel bans.
We’re quite literally, grounded.
It’s a truly extraordinary and unusual experience for us all.
With our news and social media feeds updating by the hour and full of urgent and worrying details, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Yet panic and fear are as contagious as the virus itself. In uncertain and unprecedented times, and especially when dealing through a crisis, keeping a clear perspective is essential.
As a global population we’ve collectively and simultaneously individually been plunged into a scenario of self-care to play our part in fighting this. Never has there been a greater time for empathy to rise and guide us to help navigate this storm.
Never was it so important to be alone together.
Amidst the chaos, we are witnessing incredible moments of calm and humanity, with communities remotely pulling together demonstrating cultural resilience and hope in adapting to change and finding the positives to thrive. Singing from balconies, sharing in virtual happy hours, introducing pets as colleagues – we are seeing a renewed, creative and more personal existence, bringing our whole selves into situations even while in isolation.
Our new normal is just that; normal. The scenario that has been thrust upon us is forcing us to slow down and focus inward. In doing so, we are being reminded of the joys in simpler things; baking, exercising, crafting, music, reading, playing board games and doing puzzles. As a personal example, last Friday I was able to balance my workload without the daily commute, effectively support the team and remain remotely connected, home school, and go for a run at lunchtime with my daughter who followed behind me on her bicycle. This was a whole new experience for me in my workday, and I liked it.
Mother and daughter: working and home schooling
With full respect to the seriousness of the situation - and as a mother and entrepreneur I am naturally more than worried - shifting our mindset to reframe isolation as family or me-time could help us restore some much-needed balance. To help us thrive and keep perspective, we can use this time to embrace what we have, what we can still do, and do more of it.
I believe the following steps will help us:
With most of us being forced to stay at home, there is an unprecedented need for connectivity to continue our social contact and for many, to work remotely. Fortunately, in the digital age, we are all well-equipped to do so relatively easily. Maintaining contact is so important for our mental health, especially during isolation, and many people may already be craving social interaction. Reach out and regularly check-in on each other – keep communication flowing and use video (FaceTime) as much as possible.
There’s no playbook on how to manage this crisis but one thing is certain; we need to work together to avoid pandemic panic. Remote working requires trust, understanding and strong communication. Everyone is adapting and everyone manages differently. We need to manage our own expectations and behaviours accordingly with a greater sense of care, compassion and empathy.
These days are extremely challenging for our health and livelihoods and it is easy to be engulfed by fear. Yet how we react is entirely up to us. It is important to remember that this will pass; the world is responding together, and we will emerge from this. Embrace the positives of the situation, of more time with family and for self, take up a new skill, hold remote brainstorms with the team, read that book, complete your taxes or get the jobs around the home done that you’ve been putting off. There are many ways to use the time wisely and productively.
We can’t manage the virus, but we can manage our response to it and maintaining a positive perspective will help. Whilst restrictions are placed on us, we are, thankfully, living in a world defined by connectivity and communication that enables us to carry on and keep going. We must remember that we are not alone. This is new to us all and we are all learning to pivot and adapt to our new normal where patience and understanding will prevail.
We are in this together. We’ve got this.
#Kindness #TogetherIsBetter #19h13Transform #Culture