Business leadership in a covid world – it’s time to practice acceptance
However you feel about it, coronavirus is here to stay. People in nearly every country are living with the realities, threats and opportunities covid brings with it. For businesses, many temporary changes we implemented in 2020 now need to become permanent. Complaining about the impact of covid isn’t an option – it’s time to get on with it, flex where we can and open our eyes to the benefits of a different way of working.
In this blog, we look at how we can learn to accept the realities of business in a covid world.
- Acknowledge the problems you experience
Living in a world with covid isn’t easy, but we do have to learn to accept it. To get us moving in the right direction, a good first step is to acknowledge the areas that you personally struggle with. The big, talked-about issues include homeworking, mask-wearing and living with uncertainty. But there are also worries particular to business, like being able to stay open and having enough staff to deliver your service. Home worries can take over completely, whether it’s a homeworking partner getting on your nerves or constant anxiety about the impact on children.
Grinning and bearing it is often a good short-term solution, but it can be unhealthy in the long-term. Instead, acknowledge the problems you face – it’s a great first step to adjusting work and home life so you can achieve your goals.
- Identify your needs
Having identified the problems covid presents to your business, consider the solutions.
For example, if you run a restaurant and rely on in-person staff, now is the time to register with a temp agency. This means that if you experience staff shortages due to covid, you can quickly find new people to help you keep your venue open. Alternatively, it might be time to reconsider your staff contracts. If you need help navigating these HR challenges, Get Ahead can help – visit our HR page to find out more.
In the B2B world, you might be struggling with communication now your business is following a hybrid working model. If you were muddling along with a free version of Zoom or Microsoft Teams, now might be the time to invest in a proper unified communication system, tailored to your needs.
- Embrace new ways of working
Many people breathed a sigh of relief when offices were allowed to reopen, cheerfully returning to team working, in-person meetings and water-cooler banter. But others saw their anxiety shoot up, and quite a few decided they wanted to spend more time with their families. And as omicron sweeps across the country, we’re now seeing more people self-isolating but still well enough to work.
Good business leaders recognised these varied situations. Forcing an anxious worker back to the office is not going to help their productivity; forcing someone who lives alone in a studio apartment to continue homeworking is not going to grow your business either. And we have no choice over self-isolation.
Instead, it’s time to be flexible. Hybrid working is a new phrase that has emerged during the pandemic, meaning that businesses allow workers to work from the office, home or on the go. Now, many businesses are offering choice and flexibility to their employees to maximise productivity and accommodate self-isolation rules.
- Prioritise mental health
The 2020s are not an easy time to be running a business. Some of Get Ahead’s clients have revealed their struggles to us: losing concentration, becoming forgetful, battling their own anxiety and more. We’ve had our share too!
In many cases, we have the power to keep ourselves on an even keel. We know what we need to keep well and happy – whether we choose exercise, baking, music, diary-writing or seeing the doctor, it’s important to make mental health a priority. The Guardian has some great ideas for positivity here!
Explore Get Ahead’s online resources
Covid has created a difficult situation, but it’s not insurmountable. By accepting it, offering more flexibility and tweaking some of our working practices, we can lead businesses that aren’t just surviving but thriving in the new normal. If you need some more ideas on making flexibility work for you and your business, please download our free ebook, The Homeworker’s Bible.