COVID-19 and the Workplace: How To Get Shizz Done When Everything’s A Hot Mess

Mar 16, 2020 | COVID-19 Blogs, Downloadable Tools for Leaders, Executive Coaching Blogs, Team Training, Workplace Communication

Friends, we’ve all seen these memes: yet another meeting that could have been an email, or a phone call! But now, thanks to COVID-19, we’re about to find out what that really means, and whether or not our workplace is prepared to adapt to working remotely.

We’re in a bit of what I call a Hot Mess, y’all. With the focus rightly on curbing the spread of COVID-19, businesses are focused on how to keep their day-to-day operations going while absolutely nothing about their day-to-day looks the same.

First off, let’s give a hand for the folks whose day-to-day work can’t be taken home: our health care workers, doctors, nurses, EMS, first responders, our firefighters, our police officers, our National Guard, Coast Guard, and all branches of our military. “Social Distancing” takes a backseat to the ill, injured and those with emergencies in our society, and these individuals continue to put their community first in a time of uncertainty.

Now, let’s talk about the workplace that CAN be taken home. Many businesses have encouraged or required employees to work remotely for the next few weeks. It’s up to the leadership of those businesses to ensure that their employees are equipped with the right tools and technology to do their jobs, as well as model clear communications for getting work done.

Check out the video for my thoughts on how to best use your work-from-home time, and how employers can use this experience to better plan for the future.

After you’ve checked out the video, won’t you head down to the comments section? We want to hear from you! What are you doing differently these next few weeks at work? Best tips for working from home?

Also, in this video I talked about the need to reach out and be part of your community during this time. In Indianapolis, The MLK Center is providing assistance with meals, childcare needs and other services. I highly encourage you to reach out to organizations in your community that are helping provide meals and services during this time!

Video Transcript: – Hey there, friend. It’s Stefanie Krievins with Pro Troublemaker Nation where I share tips and encouragement, so you can fix your hot messes. And, friends, today I am coming to you while our nation is in the midst of a really flippin’ big hot mess, right? COVID-19 is disrupting our businesses, our lives. People’s health are at risk. People’s lives are being disrupted because they are sick. Like my heart goes out to them. And right now what I’m experiencing with my clients is we have a lot of leaders who are making a lot of tough decisions right now. I know you’re trying to minimize the business impact. You’re trying to make some tough decisions so that your people stay safe. We’ve got schools closing. We’ve got daycares closing. It’s putting so many of us in really uncomfortable situations for a lot of reasons. I wanted to put this video out there today to say I see you. I see you working hard. I know you’re trying to make the best decisions with all the information coming out. Some is accurate, most is not, right? I know you are putting in the thought and the care to make sure that COVID-19 doesn’t spread even more. And at the same time our businesses don’t take a significant hit because of everything that has to be rearranged, right? So during this time let’s give each other some grace. Let’s remember compassion. Let’s remember empathy for all the adjustments that are going on within our businesses, within our communities, our schools, our daycares, our hospitals, our health care facilities. I don’t think our country has every faced something like this, or not in modern times anyway, right? Like the last big flu outbreak was in 1918, or so. And so this is kind of new. And so many of you are coming up with disaster preparedness plans, emergency response plans that you never had to think of before. So I encourage you: document what you’re doing now. Document how you’re making decisions because chances are pretty high this is gonna come up again in the future. And you’re gonna build your muscle now. You’re gonna build the strength to be an even more effective leader when that time comes. And so, one, you’re gonna have more fortitude for this type of emergency situation, but if you document your business processes, and your decision-making you’ll have that in place for next time this comes around, which will make your organization even stronger. Many of you are sending your teams out to work remotely, virtually, so we can have that social distancing, right? So that we can lessen the likelihood that this virus will spread because of direct human contact. So, one, as an extrovert I’m struggling my friends. Like I love you all, I love seeing you all. And so this is just a more introverted time, but you’ve got employees that you’ve sent home to work. So let’s make sure we equip them with the right tools, the conferencing tools. You’ve heard me talk about Zoom before. Friends, Zoom is a wonderful stand-in for face-to-face meetings. This is also an awesome opportunity to really evaluate if your meetings are effective and needed or not because you’re gonna test the limits of that really quickly. Make sure people have guidelines for working from home. And if you’re a remote worker you’re not used to that you’re used to being in the office. And you’re like how do I work at home? Here are my quick, quick tips on this my friends is, one, set up a dedicated workspace. Commute to it just like you would commute to your job. You have to create a mental and physical discipline to be in your office. And so a lot of folks will say, well, what do I do when I work at home? You know what you do when you work at home? You work, focus on getting your work done, and you will be successful. It’s really as simple as that. I don’t care if you want to put on real pants, or keep your pajama pants on. That part might be irrelevant, but the relevant part is do the work get it done. And I know so many folks are dealing with school situations, daycares being closed so you’ve also got kids at home. Now is an amazing time to rely on your community, to rely on those around you to help each other. How can you do a co-op babysitting situation so that those folks that are working from home can get some work done, yet their kids get taken care of, right? Think creatively about how we can support each other. And this is my last personal plea before I close out this video. And I just want to say thank you to everyone for all the hard work that you’re putting in to help keep our businesses open, to help keeping the economy going, to help provide the vital services that you do while we figure out this COVID-19 situation. This is my personal plea to you. So a lot of schools are closing. And a lot of kids rely on school to eat their meals, breakfast, lunch and snack, and sometimes food to go for dinner. So I would implore you, and just ask you to search in your heart, and find a way to help with this situation. A lot of our larger institutions are figuring out ways to still feed kids while school is closed. Please look into your community, and see how you can help with that because this is just breaking my heart, friends. It’s making me nauseous to think about these kids who don’t get to eat, don’t get the supervision that they deserve and need from being in school because of a situation way out of their control. It’s just not fair. So, please, if this situation calls out to you at all please get involved, please find a way to help. There’s gonna be many needs. Our elderly who are shut in are gonna need some support. Please let this be a time where we remember how important connection and community are to making us human. All right, my friends, it is time to get off the Internet, to get the real work done. In your pajamas, working virtually, however that needs to happen right now, but let’s get that work done. Let’s solve the big problems of this world, and I’ll see you next time.

Lead Kick Ass Meetings

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  • Easily manage task items from every meeting
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  • Hold your next effective staff meeting with focused content
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  • Have your staff turn in meaningful updates so meetings are shorter
  • Start meetings in an engaging way. Get everyone to laugh, not roll their eyes.