Remote Work – It Doesn’t have to be Zoom and doom

Effective May 17, Executive Order 20-56, the “Stay Safe Order,” is the next step in Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus, with retail stores, malls and other businesses able to open if they have a preparedness plan and operate at 50 percent occupancy.

For businesses that have been allowed to stay open or re-open under previous executive orders, all workers who have previously been working from home must continue to do so. However, the isolation of those working from home can come with psychological costs.

If your company is running on EOS, then you’ve got built-in structure that facilitates regular communications through your Level 10 meetings. Since virtual meetings are the new normal, why not make them great.

Even with all the video conferencing capabilities of today, according to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, as leaders we should recognize that working at home during a public health emergency can cause distress – including anxiety and depression, fear, sadness, anger/irritability, insomnia, fatigue, impaired concentration and diminished work performance, see Managing Stress and the Threat of COVID-19 (PDF).

These stressors come from the following experiences:

• Frustration or boredom due to isolation.
• Loss of routine, such as shopping and work activities.
• Limited social and physical contact with others.
• Loss of freedom.
• Lack of information from their company or manager.
• Increased worry about one’s health – or their family’s health.
• Unanticipated financial loss.

Given the effect of the pandemic on those working from home, or other employees back at work undergoing an entirely different kind of stress, the CDC and WHO strongly encourage adopting some basic coping and stress management practices.

Meaningful connections and regular communication are critical to helping us navigate through these challenging times. By keeping our EOS routines intact and supporting our mental health, we have the potential to come out of this crisis better and stronger – both personally and professionally!

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