The challenging times we face as a result of the pandemic has required many of us to remain in our homes, even if we have the good fortune of keeping our employment. Not surprisingly, this can lead to an uncomfortable sense of disconnectedness. Yet, it reminded me of the late Warren Zevon’s song, “Splendid Isolation” in which the lyrics repeat the refrain “I don’t need no one.”
Alone time is something I cherish, perhaps, more than others, so I find the lyrics of that song particularly appealing and humorous. However, in our professional lives, isolation does not yield success. Only a very small percentage of Americans work solely on their own, but even they are accountable to others, namely their customers. So, it is imperative that we make ourselves productive in what is a new working environment for many people.
Where do we start? At netlogx, we strive to begin everything with a PLAN. Be deliberate! Review your tasks and deliverables. Can those be completed in the same fashion as before the work from home requirements began? What improvements can be made? What will need to change?
Your work will likely be reliant on others and vice versa. How will the engagement and communication be managed? What options are at your disposal? What will need to change?
Technology avails us with many ways of engaging. While email will undoubtedly remain the most used form of business communication, it seems we are already witnessing communication taking place in more productive ways. Video conferencing has certainly become ubiquitous, particularly for the formal face-to-face meetings we had in the past. Due to the isolation we are all experiencing, it is even more important to connect with one another in meaningful ways. While I personally believe that nothing has the impact of face-to-face interaction, video conferencing is a great alternative for our current circumstances.
Consider what makes you most productive. What routines are essential for you? For me, I know I must stay disciplined in following the regiment of focus, planning, and cadence, which marks the key attributes for an Outreach Consultant at netlogx. Dedicating time to examine those three factors and respond accordingly is essential.
You may be feeling anxious or out of sorts because of these unsettling circumstances. It is OK to acknowledge that and OK to share that with others, particularly your fellow team members. They are likely experiencing the same fears and discomfort. Check-in with them with phone calls, texts and instant messages to share your genuine concern for them and their wellbeing, as well as to express your own vulnerability.
As the Head Coach Football Coach of my alma mater, Indiana University, likes to say, “Love Each Other” (#LEO). I think that is incredibly important, while also having a positive and tangible impact on productivity.
While you may not find this time of isolation to be splendid, you can successfully manage in this new environment and stay productive and engaged. It is worth noting and, indeed, true that we are all in this together!