A Pandemic Isn’t an Excuse Not to Shave
I was talking with a fellow startup CEO yesterday. Like me, he’s been working from home the last several weeks. The conversation was via video chat; another part of the new normal. He’s a dear friend. Yet I caught myself staring at what I saw on the computer screen. I thought he doesn’t look his normal self. I was looking at someone who, in a word, looked disheveled. So I asked him, “How come you look like someone who's been marooned on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean?” (Think Tom Hanks in “Cast Away.”) He responded with, “Why does it matter?”
A Pandemic Isn’t an Excuse Not to ShaveSubscribe to Blog
I was talking with a fellow startup CEO yesterday. Like me, he’s been working from home the last several weeks. The conversation was via video chat; another part of the new normal. He’s a dear friend. Yet I caught myself staring at what I saw on the computer screen. I thought he doesn’t look his normal self. I was looking at someone who, in a word, looked disheveled. So I asked him, “How come you look like someone who’s been marooned on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean?” (Think Tom Hanks in “Cast Away.”) He responded with, “Why does it matter?”
After the call I went to get a cup of coffee in the kitchen. My wife was there and noticed I looked a bit perplexed. She asked, “Gal, is anything wrong?” I told her about my friend and his days-old growth on his face and that he was wearing a less-than-fresh t-shirt and sweatpants. She chuckled, waved her hand in a manner that said, “so what, why does it matter?”
I believe it matters. Plenty. Yes, many of us are WFH and much of our daily work routines have changed, often drastically. But, in my view, that isn’t an excuse to stop shaving or wearing casual business attire, as opposed to the pj’s you slept in the night before.
If we build back into the work portion of the new normal parts of our routines before COVID-19, it may help us stay positive and focused. The notion is if we get up and do what we did to get ready for work before the pandemic, there’s a good chance we’ll have the right mindset. One that centers on being the most professional we can be. And we can be as productive from our home offices as we were before it became a requirement to work there.
There’s another dimension to my thinking. To suddenly go from an office with lots of human interactions with work colleagues to none is really hard to adjust to. No matter how much we revel in now having the shortest commute ever, there’s a profound sense of isolation that overcomes us. It’ll vary day to day, moment to moment. But that feeling of disconnectedness doesn’t really go away completely.
You need to recognize that with employees now scattered, the need to connect them, to engage them, keep them focused, and on track is absolute. The way to keep them feeling like they’re still part of a team, collectively and individually driving toward purposeful goals is to communicate with them. Do it frequently, with information segmented by their interests as members of specific teams, and as individuals. And it can’t just be about the business and employees’ work progress. These are truly unprecedented times. Communicate about ways to stay healthy and happy during this stressful moment in history too.
By communicating often and well, not only will you keep employees connected and engaged, you’ll keep motivation up, reduce the chance employees are absent from their responsibilities or simply become apathetic. Connection needs to be more than from “HQ,” but from peers through social boards. And there needs to be some element of fun by way of team challenges and recognition.
I’m suggesting you use a capability like Centrical Connect. It keeps employees unified, keeps teams agile and focused, and uses bi-directional lines of communication to keep everyone informed and aligned. Going beyond communications it helps you adapt to rapid changes in workload, address the need for reskilling, upskilling, and deal with a new kind of onboarding that I call home-boarding.
If you think about it, Centrical Connect, which can be up and running in one week, helps to bring back many of the important routines your company had – and benefitted from – before some of us confused business attire with t-shirts and sweatpants.