Last week we focused on getting your routine up and running. As the third week of working from home kicks off, the focus is keeping the momentum going through to Easter. Here are some more practical tips and tricks to help you remain focused and engaged.
You may be starting to go a bit stir crazy and, at times, be feeling overwhelmed by the stream of bad news. There are lots of online blogs from qualified mental health professionals with some good ideas on how to look after yourself. The key recommendations coming through are to exercise daily, stay connected with your loved ones, switch off the noise and misinformation of social media and to focus on things you can control. One of the best recommendations is to ‘give yourself a break’. Don’t put too much pressure and unrealistic expectation on yourself. These are stressful times, very few people will perform at the level they did before.
As we are less busy during this third week, time will become one of our big challenges. It will seem to pass slower and a sense of monotony may set in. Make sure you keep yourself busy with a mixture of work, home and personal things. Develop a list of things you can do and refer to it whenever you’re not sure what to do next. Rather than thinking about how to get through the day, break the day into chunks and just focus on getting through the next few hours.
Most businesses are finding things are slowing down as their customers and clients are doing, and spending, less. Whether it’s external or internal customers, make sure you’re keeping in touch with them. Actively look for ways to add value to their activities. Think about the sorts of things you can do that will help make their life easier – things you would have done for them in the past if only you’d had the time. The way we support our customers over this period will shape our relationship when things return to normal.
You’ll find many in your team are feeling the same and are facing many of the same challenges as you. Touch base, compare notes and give each other suggestions on supporting customers, looking after your health and other work and personal matters. Keep in touch with your customers, suppliers and regular work contacts. Ask how you can help and help where you can.
It’s only natural to think about the health of the business and whether your job is safe. Cashflow and revenue are the biggest challenges facing business at the moment. Think about the things you can do to help. This could be ideas to save money, new product or service ideas, ways to help out customers in troubled times or ideas to get customers to spend more or to pay quicker. Helping the business get through these troubled times will make you feel you’re doing something positive to achieve a good outcome for the business and for you.
Easter is nearly upon us and there’s no doubt it will be very different from any Easter we’ve experienced before. Make celebrating it a focus for the week. A positive celebration will do you good. This could be Easter activities with the family like painting eggs or making hot cross buns together. Think about your colleagues as well. What can you do to wish them a happy Easter in a novel way? And this extends to your customers and suppliers: send them an email or ecard wishing them a good Easter.
While it’s too early to know exactly when the lockdown will end, it’s not too early to start thinking about what will happen when it does. When you go back to the office what will the priorities be? What will you do differently? Are there things – such as sales tools, procedures, job descriptions, promotions, diversity and inclusiveness or values initiatives - that would help you hit the ground running? Get started now so you are ready to go when the time comes.
This time will pass and it will be over before you know it. The key thing is to look after yourself and your family and to stay connected with your friends and colleagues.