To say that these are unprecedented times in the modern era feels like an understatement.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ways we work and live are changing every day, and for good reason – but it’s happening so quickly and with little time to prepare. Even if you’re the kind of person who thrives in a sea of change, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed…I know I am.
In the last month, I’ve personally experienced the following scenarios:
- The postponement of a large conference I’d been working on for months
- The cancellation of my biggest, most meaningful speaking engagement, ever
- Having almost all of my paid work disappear
- Making the decision to cancel an international trip that I’d looked forward to
- The prospect of having my twin boys stay home from school with no end date in sight
Fortunately, none of these situations are matters of life or death. Still, I feel disappointed. Scared. And crushed. That’s normal. However, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
While I’m no stranger to working remotely, if I’m honest with myself, I’ve been wanting to figure out how to move more of my work to the virtual world. But until now, it’s been too easy to maintain the status quo. The timing never seemed right for a massive shift in business-as-usual. Could this be the nudge I needed?
That’s why instead of dreading the change, we should welcome it. We can reframe the challenges ahead as an opportunity to explore new ways of working, whether remotely or in a virtual space.
Not all work can be done remotely, that’s true. However, many companies have resisted these changes for a variety of reasons, even though there are clear benefits to embracing remote work and flexible schedules. Deciding to dramatically restructure how work gets done is guaranteed to cause disruption, so managers put it off in the absence of a forcing function. But with this global crisis, we’re collectively experiencing the growing pains of learning to behave differently, which makes it slightly less risky. And while it’s okay to test things out and not know the answers, why not tap into the knowledge of others who’ve gone before us?
On that note, I’ve compiled a list of the most useful resources I’ve come across over the last few weeks for those learning to work and lead from home. No matter what your situation, there’s likely something here that can help you or someone you know.
- Are you new to working from home (WFH)? Here are some tips to help you adjust.
- Does the idea of working from home stress you out? Check out these suggestions.
- Do you manage a team that will be working from home? Here’s how to lead virtually.
- Were you planning an event that must be canceled? Here’s a checklist to consider.
- Will you be running virtual meetings? Consider these recommendations.
- Are you a facilitator? Translate your tactics to the virtual world.
- Got kids and need to work from home? Create structure and routine with these steps.
- About to work from home with a significant other? Reflect on these suggestions.
- Need a transition plan to prepare your team to work from home? Review this guide.
- Leading through uncertain times? Here’s how to address major issues.
- Worried that remote work will be ineffective? Get excited about these stats.
- Need some inspiration for creating a home office? Peruse this list.
There will be a few bumps along the way – that’s to be expected. But with patience and the right mindset, we’ll have a new set of skills that will help us create flexibility in our lives. And who doesn’t want more of that?