How COVID-19 Will Change the Way We Work and How Companies Retain Talent

Thrust Into the Remote Work Life

I’m sure most of you reading this today are sitting on your couch at home or a desk if you’re lucky enough to have one. For those of you who didn’t work remotely before this past week or so, this may have been the first time you were thrust into the whirlwind of working from home. Were you prepared? Was your company prepared?

I am lucky enough to work for a remote first company and my whole team went remote early last week. For those of you who haven’t ever worked remote you’ll come to see (with some restrictions right now) how much more productive you can be in 8 hours. You’ll have time to make lunch, do laundry, head to the store, get a haircut, play with your cat or dog, take your kids to school and more! You won’t spend 1-2 hours a day commuting, bumping into people on the train or yelling at other drivers on I-75 or the 405. You mean I can do all of this and choose to live in an affordable city or by the beach? Yes you can.

Now working remote isn’t for everyone, but a lot of people may start to see the benefits - mostly gaining time back. As talented employees realize the flexibility they were previously missing out on, they may seek out opportunities to work remotely when possible. Companies that are hesitant to change or allow remote work will slowly start to see talent drain to those that promote it - especially to the younger generation who want the flexibility to live where they want, travel, and visit family, all while maintaining great benefits. Not to mention when something like COVID-19 rears its head, they aren’t thrust into a whirlwind of change.

Tips for Working from Home

My team did a great job of switching to fully remote last week. Here are some tips and things I’ve learned this past week:

  • Have a team slack channel/teams chat/google hangout going with your team. Talk about things you normally would in the office because this helps maintain a sense of “normalcy” even when things may not be.
  • Set daily goals and have everyone post them. This keeps the team on track and everyone accountable without people feeling micromanaged.
  • And if you are a director/manager -- don’t micromanage! This time away from the office is a good opportunity to show your team you trust them to get their work done
  • Have a Zoom lunch with the whole team
  • Have everyone share their favorite photos of their family/friends/what is important to them. You’ll learn a ton about your teammates that you didn’t know.
  • Shut your computer during lunch. Go on a walk/run/exercise - just get out of the house.
  • If you are feeling stuck/frustrated --- take a walk down the street, or go get a coffee just like you would at work.
  • Facetime friends and family over lunch!
  • Throw on music or the TV in the background so your house doesn’t feel silent. I prefer Coldplay and Schitts Creek
  • Things not to do - Annoy your fiancé :)

Here's an example of sharing pictures our team did the other day:


The Silver Lining

If we search for the silver lining and/or any possible positivity from COVID-19 and all the chaos that has ensued, we may see that working remotely can give us a better quality of life and perhaps even, a better work-life balance. We can spend more time with family, learn new skills, and maybe even take the saved time commuting to relax a little. I believe in the long run, companies that refuse to change their ways will have issues retaining talent.

Thats all for now. Be safe and take some time to work on personal development and to reconnect with friends and family.

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Copyright © David Groechel 2021.