This is a tough time to be an employee. It’s tough if you are working on the front lines and it’s tough if you are working behind the scenes from home or from an office.
When we get tired, we feel alone. It feels like we are facing way higher mountains than anyone else and while that might be true at that moment, I bet if you took a few minutes to hear about a colleague’s challenges, you might feel better about yours.
As managers and colleagues, we have a long way to go in learning how to support each other through these next few months. A clever woman on a webinar said that we are running a marathon and we don’t even know what mile we are at. We are going to need all the support we can get.
We can start by taking small steps.
A Zoom conversation does not have to start with business – no matter how rushed you are. You can ask how your colleague or manager is doing and actually listen to the answer. You can stop the conversation to ask about a piece of art or a cat in the background. It’s oaky to be human for a few minutes.
It’s okay to block time on your calendar for a walk or a nap. You don’t have to broadcast to the world that that’s what you are doing but it’s okay to take care of yourself.
We can be understanding when someone starts a meeting at 10 minutes past the hour – so they can bio break and get a snack. We can use that time too.
I was on Zoom with a client team and my mobile rang. I hesitated for a moment. They both looked at me and said “Answer it! We will just talk while we wait for you.” I stepped outside the camera window, took the call and came back. They were, in fact, merrily chatting away.
These are not huge life changers, but they will go a long way to increasing our productivity and satisfaction. And that’s what will keep out feet on the ground as we move through these challenging times.