While it may be tempting to use the phrase “when we go back to normal… ,” keep in mind that most things will never be the same. In these unprecedented times, we are constantly being faced with uncertainty, and this can lead to a state of stress and fear.
We know that things will continue to change. This means we are constantly going to need to adjust our priorities through this time and then even after this crisis is over. Going back to work, things will continue to change. With that in mind, you want to ask for flexibility if you need it. This may be to accommodate childcare needs or even health care if necessary.
Ask for flexibility when you need it and then set up commitments and agreements with your teams. By making these agreements, your team will know when to be flexible with you and when you need to be flexible with others on your team. This also lets everyone know what is expected – both of you and of each other. When we’ve set up commitments and we are living up to those commitments, we are accountable to those commitments. Having these conversations ahead of time will reduce any confusion, miscommunications or misaligned expectations down the road.
Lastly, remember that empathy is crucial in this time. If you are a leader, make sure that your team knows that you care – show them. Be flexible and communicate your understanding of their individual situations. Show your humanness in recognizing that kids are going to interrupt meetings and pets are going to make noise. Work with people on your team if they need flexible schedules as long as they meet their commitments. Try to make time to recognize that we are all in this together and have empathy for each person’s individual situation.
This article comes from our online training “7 Tips for Working Remotely during the COVID-19 Crisis” Click on the link to view the entire training for FREE as well as access other helpful leadership resources.