COVID-19 has led to societal disruptions that have taken a toll not only on businesses but also on the mental health and overall wellbeing of individuals. This strikes at the very base of Maslow’s hierarchy, hitting the safety of a person and raising a risk in mind on livelihood. The combination of emotional and psychological stress has led to reshaping personal and professional lives of people. The new habits and patterns required to manage this disruption, take more emotional and cognitive energy. This may also impact productivity at work. To overcome these challenges, it is important that the individuals acquire certain skills and traits to adapt in this new work dynamic.
- Empathy at work: Be observant of how people around you are doing and attempt to understand their challenges and emotions. There is a high degree of uncertainty and fear in peoples mind. Accept the challenges people are facing, be there for them and then work with them, while staying cognizant of the challenges.
- Emphasise on your learning: Learning is truly a lifelong process, but even more important now. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn a new lesson. Tough times are meant for adapting, changing, and reinventing, all of which have a common underlying theme of learning. To do better in the current times, one needs to think of new solutions, to do things differently or to take up new type of work altogether. This is especially true for learning about technology. Technology has emerged as a strategic solution to many challenges and a force multiplier in the current scenario.
- Innovate your way out: A tough situation should be leveraged as an opportunity to innovate and build ideas that will break through the clutter and help one stay relevant. Being innovative and agile can help sustain and even thrive in this dynamic business ecosystem. This is increasingly evident with multiple professionals and organisations who have converted the current into opportunities. They have either completely changed the way they work or in many cases innovated to offer completely new services or products that are needed in the current situation.
- Communicate and collaborate with the team and community: Physical “distancing” should not end up bringing “distance” in relations, professional or personal. Proactively engage and communicate with your colleagues and the community around. A lot of work that had collaboration at its core has been shaken and good communication is essential to ensure that physical distance doesn’t mean lack of collaboration. With lesser or no nonverbal cues, one needs to also ensure their communication is more clear and complete than ever.
- Be resilient: The current challenges have been here for a good part of the year and won’t go away in a hurry. Individuals and organisations that accept the current adversity, remember their purpose, and reassess their strategies are able to chart the path to recovery or even growth. Times are tough but resilience and perseverance will go a long way in overcoming the situation and finding ways to convert challenges into opportunities. For instance, the current situation has shown virtual work and collaboration is feasible and hence many professionals who have been impacted by this hardship, stayed strong and rediscovered that now they can reach out virtually to even more opportunities across geographical and location constraints.
- Give it back to the society: Certain sections of the society have been hit very hard. This is the time where any help extended will make a lot more difference because the recipient is probably in a much deeper need. Organizations and individuals can use this time as an opportunity to help and support the needy and hence leave them with memories of compassion and care, which can positively change mindsets and behaviour for a long time to come.
There is a quote that “Even in a bad situation, there's always a positive side. Even if we cannot see it, yet”. While this pandemic has emotionally challenged many in unprecedented ways, it has had positive impact in certain areas of life, some evident now and others which will be realised later. The lower pollution has helped the environment and the ecosystem. Many people are interacting more with friends and extended family, whom they have not spoken with, in a long time. Many individuals and businesses have embraced technology, which will help them not only now but, in the future, too. I am sure that even when this is all long over, we would have “changed for good” in many aspects and emerged stronger