At some time, and hopefully sooner than later, we will be able to return to the workplace in this era of COVID-19. As much as we all would like this to mean getting back to the ‘normal’ we knew and have been longing for, chances are great that ‘normal’ is going to look different when we do return. Be it with our previous position or a new one, it’s fair to presume that the workplace will appear different. Layout of space, the need to continue to distance and wear protective gear will likely be the norm … at least until there is an effective treatment that allows us to be and feel protected.
Yet, and perhaps most importantly, the true difference might well be how demonstrating our sese of loyalty to the job and the organization will appear. What will be expected of us by the company, the boss and/or the co-worker that will have us seen as a valuable and needed contributor to the goals that need to be achieved? The following are actions that merit consideration. By incorporating them into your approach being ‘back at work’ in the office you may well enhance the perceived value you offer.
- Expand the boundaries around what you have or do see as ‘your job’. Most likely the company is employing fewer people and they will count on all to do more with less.
- Be aware of and seek opportunities to cross position or department lines in service of others needing help to carry out their portion of a project or task. Such a need could well be you tomorrow when you will welcome and even need the same help.
- Volunteer to be considered for anything that needs to happen anywhere within the organization. Your flexibility is both needed and will be seen in the most positive manner.
- Find out what new learning you can do that will increase your value to the company … then do it. Whether it means taking an on-linecourse or shadowing others in the organization, your openness to enhancing your knowledge will correspond with enhancing your value.
- Seek ways to accomplish your work within a shorter time frame. Fewer people require greater efficiencies to produce the needed workload.
- Minimize the need for and length of meetings. Getting, giving and understanding clear directions at the beginning will enable faster movement to the goal with less check-in to get the ‘next step’.
- When a part of a department or team, help to get all on board with the new efficiency and play rules. You, alone, working more expeditiously, isn’t good enough unless all on whom the work relies are of the same understanding and intent.
- Simply structured teams of co-workers or within departments increases the speed and efficiency of needed communication. This will be mandatory in this new normal.
- To your employer or boss, be flexible in setting your personal guidelines as to what you will and won’t do. You may need flexibility from these same people to carry out the changes that have taken place creating new family needs. Seek opportunities to give this same consideration back when you can.
It is fair to assume that in going to our jobs regardless of it being the old one or something new, is going to require greater efficiency. This need was brought by COVID-19 and the recovery that it is going to take. Thus, there is the need from those working in the organization to demonstrate a level of willingness, flexibility and determination that surviving and thriving in a new normal will require. For certain, in many ways … both professionally and personally … the world we knew has been turned upside down.
Hopefully, we can all come to see this as an opportunity to learn and hone new skills. We can become creative in how we might approach our jobs that will enable more to be accomplished with less or fewer. Changing one’s attitude to coincide with the new demands of the workplace will enable us to be successful enhancing our real and perceived value. Now what’s the negative in that?