WEEK 2 IN QUARANTINE: BACK TO WORK FROM HOME?
Well, things are still weird. Who would have thought we would say to our kids: ‘It’s so nice outside. Why don’t you play video games?’
If you’re like me, you’re trying to balance kids that need help with Microsoft Teams schooling, keeping up with the latest information about the pandemic, and attending Zoom meetings at home that require finding new ways to say, ‘Sorry my dog is barking.’ (My favorite thing to say when my dog barks: ‘Hey, it’s really unprofessional of you to have that dog with you during our meeting.’) It’s all too easy to get distracted and let projects, meetings, strategies and teams slow down or drift away during this new, changing phase. And there are so many questions we don’t know the answer to: how bad will it get? How long will it last? How do you shut off the notifications from Houseparty? (Suggestion: Mute all your groups. Catch up when you want to!)
Heard any good jokes? Here’s a classic, updated for 2020: A priest, a rabbi and a cheerleader walk into a bar. And the bartender says, ‘How did you get in here? We’re closed. And hey — you should be standing 1,5 meters apart.’ By the way, I told that joke to one of my 13 year-old sons, and he said, ‘I get it — the priest has to be that far away because he’s a pedophile.’ Teens say the darndest things.
See? It’s tough to focus on work when there’s so much on our minds. Especially when we’re in homes filled with distractions instead of being in offices filled with, well, work. But we have to get back to work as best as we can, even while at home. Many companies are moving forward. I imagine it’s a great time to be Netflix where the biggest change seems to be the move from ‘Netflix and Chill’ to ‘Netflix and Chill and Wash Your Hands.’
Most teams have to figure out how to get back to work with a capital W. They have to stay connected while they’re disconnected and stay focused on the office when many people are nowhere near the office. And leadership teams have to wrap their heads around how to inspire their teams when everyone is worried about the future.
Our program Stay Connected and Be Productive is a 2 hour digital session to enhance teamwork and collaboration. Lead Through Challenging Times is a half day program for leadership to work with their teams moving forward. Both are interactive, engaging, and are… dare I say it… fun. If your team or leadership team could benefit from some focused work on getting focused on work, please take a look.
And for a while, you can think of us as Zoom Chicago.
In addition, I’d like to do a best practices exchange to compare notes on how you’re getting the most out of working from home. For me it’s:
- Headphones, headphones, headphones.
- A set schedule for the kids and for the grownups that has time for both to be together, and time for both groups to do their own thing.
- Fruit before snacks, and all chips served in a small bowl, NEVER the bag.
- Only look at memes and videos about the quarantine from people you trust. Many are not funny, though here’s my favorite.
- Keeping a journal to get a lot of what’s on my mind off my mind so I can focus when I need to.
- Use extra time to catch up on old dream-journal projects rather than catching up on series that weren’t important enough to watch three weeks ago. You were right then.
- Put the social back in social distancing with video chat in your off time. My family and I virtually watched a movie with my mom last week. We got on Duo (Google’s Facetime) and hit start at the same time. I had a glass of wine; she had a cup of coffee (time difference), and it was fun!
What have you got?
Stay healthy and if possible, stay home,
As Director of Creative Content, Pep does it all: He’s a high level event host & facilitator, writer, stand-up comedian, public speaker, coach, and developer of innovative corporate programs. A co-founder of Boom Chicago, Pep’s passion is using comedy to make hard-to-communicate messages land and stick, as featured In his 2012 TED talk, ‘Fight, Flight or Make Your Opponent Laugh.’ Pep hosts events like TEDx Amsterdam, The Next Web Conference, The Nordic Business Forum, and the Spin Awards to rave reviews, and he was nominated for an Emmy for his writing on America’s long-running television show, Saturday Night Live.