Where do we go from here?
There is no denying the stress that has been placed on the design industry over the last three months. For team leaders, the current crisis has meant having uncomfortable conversations with their staff and making unfortunate but unavoidable changes to staff structure.
Despite Boris Johnson’s recent announcement of a slight relaxation of lockdown measures, the uncertainty which engulfed the industry at the begin of the crisis, still remains. To help ease stress, we’ve spoken to Suki K Bassi, Chief Happiness Officer at The HappyMaven and asked her to provide some advice to those in design, during this second stage of social-distancing.
Maintain staff morale
Suki’s recommendation for decision-makers is to avoid making projections and announcements for “when things get back to normal”. Instead, she suggests focussing on the present, placing a precedent on maintaining strong communications with your team and managing their stress levels and your own.
Avoid using phrases such as “when this is all over...”
Unfortunately, it’s still too early to create an “exit plan” for your company. Building an image of what life will be like once restrictions are fully lifted, will only leave yourself open to disappointment or frustration once lockdown does lift and it looks different to what you thought it would because the goalposts have since moved. Instead, simply remain reactive to the needs of your staff and base all decision making on that.
Readjust your working week
The adrenaline which kept us all running at the beginning of lockdown has probably run out and you’re now likely feeling the wearing effects of having your work and home life enmeshed. To counteract this, Suki believes that is important, now more than ever, to cultivate a healthy work-life balance and to grow comfortable with working from a multi-purpose space.
The pandemic may have permanently altered the way we work, therefore you should learn now, how to make remote working, work for you.
It’s easy to overcompensate when working from home, in an attempt to prove productivity can still continue outside of the office. Many of our clients have noted either an increase in their work hours or a new habit of working late into the night.
Working a full 9-5 at home, may not be feasible and that’s ok.
There’s nothing wrong with readjusting your daily work hours, says Suki. Rather than attempting to work a solid eight hours, you may find it more beneficial to work a few hours before diverting your time to focus on homely tasks or taking some physical exercise; then continuing your duties once you can truly focus on them.
Continue prioritising your mental and physical health
Nobody has a rule book, and we are truly in this together, so be kind to your team and yourselves.
Suki and her team have been working extensively to provide support during the current crisis. Check out The HappyMaven's work here.
You can also get in touch with Gabriele if you have any recruitment-related questions or queries. We are here to help your company through this.