As Spiracle Media moves operations back into their South End digs, the team is radiating with cautious excitement and craving in person connection. The last few months have been challenging and on the business front, we have a significant hole to climb out of.
If you’re a fellow business owner or employee heading back into a team environment, I’m sure you’re experiencing a mixed bag of emotions. The fact that you’re heading back to the office is a positive sign.
Here are five thoughts on managing a return to the office.
Communication is Key
While working remote, the importance of communication was obvious and seeing it in action was special. From day one, our team members took it upon themselves to make sure the lines of communication were open and connected. Research was rampant and the quest for new solutions began without a directive. They marched ahead, together. That can’t change.
One specific example of communication from quarantine was our production team’s decision to touch base twice daily, once to open the day and the other to close. While these video calls became taxing in the end, they served as the glue.
Our teams also kicked off their L10 meetings. For those of you that aren’t familiar, these meetings are an essential part of EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System). We moved forward with that implementation while also switching project management platforms. None of that would have been possible without a regimented approach to communication.
Video Calls Work
Zoom fatigue is a real thing and we all need a break. Seven to eight hours of video calls a day will drain every ounce of mental and physical energy in the tank.
The frequency of using Zoom or a comparable platform will certainly change, but the lesson is that it’s nice to see people. It add context to the conversation and sure beats a faceless conference call.
As we move forward, video calls should be strongly encouraged when face-to-face isn’t possible. It’s the next best option. It only took a pandemic to make us realize that.
Flexibility is Important Moving Forward
Every person is dealing with this differently. For that reason, safety and comfort must continue to be a top priority. We have told our team that flexibility needs to work in tandem with availability. The two are compatible.
Institute guidelines for office use and protocols for working in the field. You can’t get complacent when it comes to protecting your team and clients. Here’s an example. While routine cleaning of the office will continue, we have also invested in a surface treatment for high touch areas that kills both viruses and bacteria on arrival.
Another big part of this equation is extending empathy and grace. The mental and emotional toll is real and must be treated as such. Remain aware and act quickly.
A number of businesses won’t have the chance to open their doors or when they do, they’ll look completely different. Our leadership team dug in and worked together through an unprecedented time in Spiracle’s life to ensure that no jobs were lost during this initial wave. If there’s a measure of success, that’s all we need to look at. Pinpoint your own successes. There are probably more than you realize.
Be appreciative and thankful for all the work that has gone on behind the scenes. Recognize the effort of your fellow teammates. Members of your team could have chosen to sit on the sidelines, collect a paycheck, and watch. Hopefully for your sake that wasn’t the case. I know in our case it was quite the opposite.
As Spiracle returns to the office environment, there is a renewed sense of teamwork, appreciation, understanding and resolve. As a result, there is an expectation that this team will be stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for the days ahead. I hope the same applies to you.
Get Back to Doing What You Love
Multiple months without telling real stories hit us hard. Our agency was built by former journalists and is sustained by a mixture of talent from different professional backgrounds. We were built to tell stories.
Until a few weeks ago, our team was yearning to get back in the field. The creative pause was taking its toll. With that in mind, we came up with an idea for a series and that idea came to fruition as Six Feet Apart. This series gave our team an opportunity to get back to doing what they love. It also showcased organizations throughout the Charlotte area that reinvented their businesses, at least temporarily, to fill a need and provide good.
Check out the series here!
Get back to focusing on what you’re great at and never cease in figuring out where you can add value or additional solutions. Finally, don’t forget about what you’ve learned over the last three months. If you’re still standing, you’ve learned a lot. If you’re not, you might have learned even more. Put it to good use!