A Guide For Being Human

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Kimberlee Morrison

Content Strategist at Coplex

We’re all human, and it’s safe to say we’re collectively reeling from the disruption in how we live and work wrought by the global health crisis. The Coplex team is working from home and practicing physical distancing with social connectedness. We’re fortunate that we were able to make a quick and relatively seamless transition.

We’re also looking at this moment as an opportunity to practice what we preach—and get creative as we reimagine the future. These are challenging and uncertain times: The perfect storm for the agile, creative, optimistic, big thinkers to leap into action solving the world’s biggest challenges. Coplex is ready to answer that call, and help you answer it too!

You probably feel compelled to focus on surviving the present crisis. Equally important is setting the vision for what you want your business to look like after the crisis—and into the rest of the decade. Once you have a vision, you can start laying the foundation to make that vision a reality.

As part of our effort to help you adjust to the new normal, and continue to move your business forward, we’ve created a guide for being human during a time of crisis. We don’t pretend to have all of the answers, that’s why we’ve curated some of the best tips, tools and resources to help you weather the current storm—and thrive once it’s over.

And remember: We’re all human and we’re in this together.

Working From Home

With so many of us forced to work from home, we face the challenge of discovering new ways to collaborate and stay connected as a team. Perhaps you took the digital collaboration tools for granted in the past, but now these tools are our lifeline to productivity. And the tools are plentiful.

Cloud Storage

Your cloud storage is the hub of all of your company documents and other brand assets. You want something with file management, collaboration and sharing capabilities, as well as security and admin controls. Google Drive a digital-first platform with flexible options for startups and enterprises, while Office365 is a more traditional enterprise team management system. There are plenty of other options to explore  some more flexible and open source, others more secure and self contained.

Remote Team Management

In addition to cloud storage that enables file management and collaboration, you’ll need tools for communication and project management. Slack is perhaps the simplest and most popular chat-based team communication platform, and it integrates easily into some of the more popular cloud storage solutions mentioned above. For project management Airtable, Asana, and Trello are all good options to consider. Look at your options and choose something that integrates with your other foundational document management, collaboration and communication tools.

Video Conferencing

Zoom is not the only video conferencing game in town. While  Zoom offers an easy and accessible experience, the recent increase in demand has exposed real vulnerabilities in  security infrastructure. If you’re in a business where you handle sensitive personal and financial data, you may want to explore video-conferencing services with end-to-end encryption.

Productivity Hacking

Working from home is very different from working in an office. In most instances, it won’t make sense to equate productivity with time spent sitting at a computer for an 8-hour shift. Consider giving employees the autonomy to work irregular hours, or work in blocks or bursts.

Maybe your team needs to track time. There are plenty of tracking apps, many of which connect to some of the top project management platforms on the market. Whether you’re in an office or working from home, using an app like Zapier or Integrify is a great way to automate repetitive workflows, and hack productivity even further.

Business Leadership

Having all the right tools won’t make a difference without leadership setting the tone for the remote work culture. According to Gallup, the keys to keeping remote employees engaged are: Individualization, communication, and accountability.

It’s also important to find ways to bring your remote culture to life.  At Coplex, our Slack channels were a well established community-building tool, and now that we’re fully remote, we’ve added channels for gardening tips and tricks, sharing lunch picks, and not a single birthday passes without a virtual party. Culture isn’t just fun and virtual birthday parties though—it’s about how your team works together as a cohesive unity.

If your team is new to working from home, you’ll likely face some common challenges—and you can expect those challenges to be amplified in a crisis situation. Support employees by providing multiple communication channels, establishing regular check-ins, opportunities for remote social interaction, and by offering encouragement or emotional support.

The public health crisis and resulting economic climate make this an unusually high-stress time to be a business leader. These can be especially trying times and corporate enterprises and startups alike are scrambling to figure out how to weather the current storm. There are lots of great resources, but none quite as comprehensive as this Founder's Guide to Navigating a Crisis.

Resist the instinct to revert to what feels safe, and instead harness the innovation power within your organization. These may be difficult, chaotic and stressful times, but these are the conditions where many leaders will discover what they are truly made of.  

Work-Life Balance

Despite the corporate resistance to adopting flexible work-from-home options for fear of lost productivity, there’s plenty of evidence that working from home can increase productivity. In fact, the bigger challenge for WFHers is balancing work and life when there’s no separation between the two.

For those still clocking in every day, the built in structure could make the work-life balance easier to achieve. Others will have to create their own structure, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of working longer hours than you would if you were working from a company office. You might have to experiment at first, setting regular work hours, including scheduled breaks—and sticking to them—is absolutely essential for developing a schedule that facilitates equilibrium.

Equally important is creating a self-care routine that includes scheduled breaks, putting on pants, getting enough sleep, and making time to workout. If you have kids, this is a great opportunity to teach them healthy self-care habits, but also model the habits by carving out some “me time” at least once a week.

We all respond to stress differently, but even if you’ve never experienced anxiety before, a crisis situation can wreak havoc on your nervous system. This is a great time to start a yoga or meditation practice, and develop other healthy ways to cope with the stress of uncertainty and chaos. Feelings of isolation are also normal during this time, so try to find ways to connect with friends, family, and expand your network to stay social even while you limit physical interaction.

In Times of Crisis, and Beyond

During times of uncertainty, it’s critical to remind yourself that we’re all living, breathing, imperfect human beings. Take each day in stride, carving out time for emotional and physical wellbeing, so you can tackle all of the projects and obstacles life throws your way. Together, we can help each other stay connected, focused, healthy, and productive.

Are you ready to reimagine the future? Contact us today to learn more about how Coplex can help you turn the best ideas within your organization into revenue-generating digital business models.