Today saw the first in a new series of events from Assenty #VirtuallySpeaking in response to the #COVID19 outbreak and the move to remote working for the majority of businesses.
We spoke to our community about the topics that were most important to them with concerns around remote working and wellbeing appearing high on the agenda.
We invited along HR and Culture Consultant Kate Wood, co-active life coach Mandy Sinclair and Rachel Morgan-Trimmer, a neuro-diversity expert who is currently self isolating with two young children, hosted by Assenty Founder Chi-Chi Ekweozor. Together they got to grips with concerns about remote working, how to look after your teams and culture and how to manage the converging demands of home and work life.
We kicked things off by hearing from Kate on how HR works when the whole business is working remotely?
“ it’s about focusing on the right environment to work from, which can prove challenging at the moment, we don’t all have home offices or dedicated space, so for employees – be open about your needs with your employer and with the people in your home, try to get a plan in place and a structure about who will work when and where. I’d also say that people need the right technology and if you’re not comfortable with your tech setup you have to ask for some support. For managers if you have tech savvy folks in your business ask them to buddy with those who are less tech savvy to help them out.
For managers it’s about fierce communication, rigorous and regular, having daily huddles and regular contact and recognising that people are struggling with this so it’s critical to make time for informal comms in your business whether that’s just sharing a joke, doing a quiz together and just chatting about what you’re watching on TV.
Then we spoke to Mandy, from a personal point of view ‘ how do we keep motivated in these strange circumstances we find ourselves in right now?
“ Everyone is dealing with this differently and it’s important to recognise that what we are experiencing is grief, some will adapt to that much quicker than others so my key message to everyone is however you are feeling – that’s ok. There will be people that are stuck at denial and anger and who are really struggling whilst others will be moving forward and it’s important that an employer tries to find out where you are but also that you reach out for the help that you need.
For all of us it is one day at a time, we don’t know what’s going to happen next week or the week after and that can be an anxious place, today there is certainty and so I recommend setting just 3 key priorities for the next day, something for heart, mind and body. If we focus on what we can do, we can feel that bit more in control.
And finally we spoke to Rachel on navigating the lockdown, working and home-schooling children.
“ There’s a lot of talk about switching off, but honestly it’s not always possible, not everyone has the physical space to ‘ get away’ but try to claim some space which is yours whilst working even if that’s just the end of the dining table and make sure that the kids and other members of your family understand the limitations around that space.
I’d also say that if you’re home-schooling then you actually have less time, a lot less, so the ‘spare time’ thing for parents at least is a bit of a myth right now, if you usually work whilst the kids are at school then you have 6 hours less and that’s a massive impact, so I would say this, prioritise what you can realise that you can’t do everything anymore. It’s about saying what the next most important thing is and then the next and you need to ensure self-care is in there too, it can’t just be work and home-schooling.
The next #VirtuallySpeaking takes place on Monday 20th April at 2pm, we’re still confirming our line up but are pleased to confirm MD of Make Events and self confessed fitness fanatic Holly Moore will be joining us to share her tips for keeping fit and running a business during lockdown.
The conversation doesn’t have to end
Why not join the #VirtuallySpeaking community and keep in touch with the community, share tips and advice or just have a chat and keep each other company. We’d love to have you!