Working from home: Challenges, learnings and key things to take to the new world

The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly and dramatically upended the working world, creating unanticipated business and leadership challenges.  Thus, what we learn in the last few months could help shape a future of work that might have been inevitable, with or without a once-in-a-century public-health crisis.

Ironically, it all began with a whisper when a lot of us shrugged off the likelihood of moving to work from home culture out of fear. We also convinced ourselves that ‘this too shall pass’ even before we knew it. 

Soon after reality hit us hard and we found ourselves fighting with an unknown enemy who made us questioned and shook our every strategy, the most sophisticated predictive analytic tools, robust processes, which had helped us in staying ahead of every possible completion and perceived threats once upon. Our worldly perspective changed drastically, our reference of normalcy changed. We wonder once the treatment is found we will fall back to our old habits and ways of living. However, history reflects that countries that witnessed and suffered calamities and pandemics have changed for forever. 

Challenges faced by the leaders

Taking decisions and acting with assertion has never been more challenging. More than ever, leaders must be attuned to the needs of their businesses and their people, even though the stresses in their own lives may have increased during the pandemic. Thus, leaders who took a definitive approach in dealing with the situation have been able to distinguish themselves.  On the contrary, leaders who continue to operate with archaic ways of thinking, rigidity, ego, and who lack empathy, are increasingly finding it difficult to survive. 

Compassion, Honesty, empathy and support go very far away

The much-needed values of compassion and empathy are supposing higher implication as leadership attributes. How and what leaders communicate makes a lot of difference during the crises, it also sets character of the organisation. 

In my opinion, dignity, respect, fairness, and honesty will form brands in the eyes of talent. Getting vulnerable to the situation may be very easy for some in comparison to others. Therefore, addressing anxiety and providing clarity and direction to employees becomes even more crucial for leaders during the crises. 

Your team is your only valuable currency, you can have 

Amid this crisis, the one currency that will not fluctuate and be your strength is your very own team. As true leaders are observing the way to guide their teams, one should be open in sharing with them, fostering them, accepting and working with them, and co-creating the future with them. However, going through a downturn and making tough decisions to keep your company afloat is hard. But, if you lead with compassion you will touch the lives of your employees in an extraordinary way and come out of this potential slowdown stronger than ever before, augmenting the shared values of your staff. Thus, what we learnt is that it is crucial to have Ice in the belly. 

Key things to take forward to the new world

Digital skills, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and innovation will all be crucial skills post-pandemic. The challenge will be to sustain the hastily constructed structural and cultural infrastructure that fosters true creativity. Upholding the momentum for change that COVID-19 has brought, unwittingly, to the table is an opportunity to focus on the skills that enable us to build back better. Additionally, the emotional challenges are as profound as the practical ones, providing insight and wisdom that will help us adapt. We have been re-learning the value of creativity, fluidity and adaptability. When so much is still unidentified, there is no one “correct way” but a mix of ever-evolving opportunities and our persuasion to create a better future.  Hence, the objective is to thrust those likelihoods toward a dream of tomorrow. This crisis will pass. What arises next is up to us.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Neha Bisht
Neha K Bisht is the founder of Blue Buzz. Front lining the growth story of lifestyle brands, Neha is a harbinger of nouveau mechanisms and brings a strategic, thoughtful approach to her campaigns. She is committed to creating value for herself through the value she creates for others; she has been instrumental in Brand Building and Online Market Segmentation for some of the biggest entertainment, corporates, and industry leaders alike.

An alumnus of Sophia College, Mumbai, Neha started her professional career with an advertising firm before finding her true calling in PR. Donning many hats as she leads different verticals across the firm, she strives to build a company culture that nurtures a potent coupling of creative ideas and strategic thinking.

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