How to recapture your work rhythm during and after a crisis



This week I took part in a webinar with Dynamic Signal to talk about how we need to consider the rhythm of work after the crisis. We talked about the need for business as usual, about new ways to use technology, and the fact that this has forced digital transformation upon us. There was lots of great content you can watch on the webinar. But here are some of the top things that we covered in case you want to have a quick read instead:

  • This is an opportunity not to be missed. For the first time, the need to develop the business case to invest in technology is written for you. Don’t waste the opportunity that is going to come as you look at how you shape the function in the future.
  • This is a chance for us to really demonstrate our strategic capacity here. It’s easy to just stay in a tactical place when we are in crisis getting content out. But we also must be the strategic advisor helping leaders understand their impact on the organisation. That means coaching them through using different tools to communicate as well as taking the chance to look at how things need to change once we are out the other side of the current uncertainty.
  • Consider new ways to use digital tools, especially in a social way as we have never had to do that in the workplace before. Consider things like a coffee morning. If that’s too far, look at a coffee morning with purpose, so you’re discussing a topic around the industry that you work in or something that makes people feel more comfortable. Use it to support your culture. At the same time, don’t expect it to change it straight away. 
  • This is not the time for perfectionism. As internal communicators, we can often get stuck in trying to make everything perfect. Now is the time to be agile. It’s a real opportunity for us to show how we can get things done at a pace. People are launching communities in 48 hours that previously would have taken a year. It’s a chance for us to get rid of some of that perfection procrastination that can often hold us back.
  • If you’re hosting online meetings, make sure that you have a clear agenda. That way, people know what to expect. People are anxious about all of this uncertainty. So, make sure that you’re being very clear about the purpose of the meeting and how it’s going to work. If you’re chairing that meeting and you’re using technology like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, try different ways to engage with them. You can either open the floor or ask them to unmute and give feedback. If you’ve got a topic where you want to hear everybody, you can go around the virtual room and ask people to add comments one at a time. It might take a bit longer. But it means that you’re more inclusive and you’re going to hear some of those voices that might usually stay quiet.
  • A term that Becky used in one of the conversations before the webinar was the need to consider the “reboarding” of employees. I loved this idea and I think it needs to be talked about more. I think it’s really worth considering as you’re looking to the future and what needs to happen for those employees who might have been furloughed or who are taking time out to care for their children/family.
  • Finally, take time to capture what you’ve been doing. That doesn’t mean that you have to create nice PowerPoint presentations in detail. You can record your audio/dictate notes, or it could be a video at the end of each day. Talk about something that went well, that didn’t go well, then something that you’ve learned. It doesn’t have to be pretty or shared with anyone else. But just capturing what you’re doing and how you’re going will be great for the future.

There is a lot to consider right now, as we look to the future while trying to just get through each day. Remember to take time for yourself and find the learnings in what you’re doing because I’m sure there will be lots of opportunities where you will need that knowledge in the future.

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