Returning To Normal

The past few months you may feel like your business has been turned upside down.

We hear things are ‘getting back to normal’ since the quarantine lockdowns are lifted and people start to venture outside. Albeit it at a distance.

But what does returning to normality mean?

The definition of “normal” is something that is standard, usual, typical and expected. Normal is familiar. Normal is safe.

We are in the perpetual work from home phase during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping our physical distance from others to stop the spread of the virus has led to many challenges for businesses. And if you are one of the lucky ones still treading water, congratulations. This pandemic has tested our supply chain, our innovation and our resilience.

Many countries are still in the process of flattening the curve. Canada has been able to make strides and roll out a reopening plan for most provinces in the coming months.

BC’s Restart Plan that lays out a series of steps that we will take together to protect people and ensure that our province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.

Technologies that have allowed us to stay connected such as chat and video platforms have been critical during this time. And as businesses open back up, internal and external communication will still heavily rely on those SaaS products.

At Chatnels, our office building is now open but there is a limit at 50% capacity. So we are rotating teams with an office sign-up sheet, and maintain physical distancing protocols. Until there is a vaccine or herd immunity it is unlikely things will be completely as they were pre-COVID-19.

What does the returning to normal plan look like for your business?

For many businesses working remotely is the new future. Offices may become a things of the past. This can have cost savings since you no longer need to rent office space, no commute means you are saving on travel costs, and for the most part you are able to save more time. And time = money.

According to a Cisco study, 69% of employees cited higher productivity when working remote, and 75% said the timeliness of their work improved.

But while those all seem great, working remotely also has its challenges.

How do you keep your employees and teams connected and motivated to work?

Telecommunication will play a big role here. Ensuring you maintain daily check ins with your teams and connect via video and online communication platforms often will help maintain work productivity and culture.

A Harvard Business Review article gives 10 basic principles on how to virtual teams work. One key aspect is to “make sure that there is clarity about work process, with specifics about who does what and when. Then periodically do ‘after-action reviews’ to evaluate how things are going and identify process adjustments and training needs.”

But does that really work? The Cisco study, and many other say yes, as 83% of employees said their ability to communicate and collaborate with co-workers was the same as, if not better than, it was when working on-site.

Virtual teams tend to communicate more deliberately since they can no longer pop into a co-workers office for a quick question in person. And teams bond on deeper levels during conversation since this time is more meaningful. Get to know your employees lives outside of work-related topics, this will help create unity and eliminate the “cog in the machine” feeling that causes disconnect.

We’d love to hear your perspective on working from home and whether your business is continuing to work removing or if you are going back to the office. Drop us a line at Chatnels chat.