Working Effectively in a Time of Covid
Now that we're settling into something like normal, there's been some calibration around working effectively (or mostly effectively depending on how distance learning is going in my kitchen on any given day). It's definitely different, heavy on Zoom, and a little weird, but not totally insurmountable.
Here are a few tips from me to you on working effectively with clients and your team during Covid-19:
Be patient. Even though many of us are home-bound, that doesn't mean being at home is conducive to keeping up the same pace you would in an office. Be patient with your clients, your team, and yourself.
Be honest. Deadlines have shifted around a lot for us, especially with the changes at the Capitol. Things are on pause one minute and break-neck the next. Be honest with yourself about what you can get done in a day and keep the lines of communication clear with clients and your team.
Be (somewhat) regimented. As noted above, any given day can go awry if my kid can't get outside because it's raining or some new obstacle pops up. Aside from surprises you can't plan for, I've found that being a bit regimented in my day is helpful. I try to keep normal-ish hours and walk away from my computer every now and then. This approach isn't for everyone -- heck, it isn't even for me every day of the week -- but keeping some semblance of a normal day can help provide some structure to the aimlessness that creeps in.
Find ways to be flexible -- but not to your detriment. We've all been on a million Zooms and conference calls these last few weeks. Technology is amazing in what it can do to keep us connected. It's also amazing in how it can drain you. If you're having a quick check in meeting, a phone call may suffice rather than expecting everyone to be at a flat surface with a camera turned on. I took a great meeting the other day while walking my dog, in fact.
Always give a heads up to clients (and anyone really) if you're going to be on video and expect the same from them. Even saying "let's hop on a video meeting tomorrow" will suffice. Just because you sent a Zoom or Hangout meeting invite doesn't mean it's a given. I recently had to find a hairbrush two minutes before a huge call I had assumed was without cameras because I was casually told right beforehand that I would be on video to 400 people.
Zoom has a feature in its video section that lets you touch up your appearance. Use it.
Here's hoping you've found a rhythm that works -- at least for today!