Coronavirus (COVID-19) is real.
It may not be the plague, but it’s for real. South by Southwest (SXSW) did not cancel its conference attended by 300,000 people worldwide because of fiction. Italy did not quarantine 16 million people because of some fake news stories. Coronavirus as a pandemic may be overblown, but it’s real. I can’t believe I had to say the above, but we live in a post-fact world where truth can be hard to decipher.
Note added on 6/5/20: Coronavirus is absolutely a pandemic. See this site for the latest statistics.
Business, as we know it, has changed because of this. People are being sent home that have never worked remotely before. Schools are going virtual that have never held virtual classes previously. Online programs take about 18 months to develop, yet teachers are expected to modify the curriculum overnight.
We may not be facing death here. Gees – I hope not. But, we are facing change. We are forced to transform how we work, interact, and get things done. And we are forced to do it during a pandemic. It’s new and a perfect opportunity to see what could be possible for you and your organization. Remote workers need online collaboration tools. Forcing people to work the same way they would in an office is obviously short-sighted.
BAU can not sustain itself during pandemics. Yes, you must take care of your people by sending them home. That is not lost on us, but we all find value in what we do and how we do it. Help your team by providing them with tools like google docs, Workfront, zoom, or Slack.
Building out these practices will take time, so be patient. Be patient with yourselves, your employees, and the fact that you’ll be saying, “Sam, you are on mute” every time Sam tries to speak in a zoom meeting. Note: There is always a Sam in every virtual meeting.
Be kind, be patient, and know that moving away from BAU is not easy. This moment may not fully pass, but it will evolve.