As we all keep going and the pandemic drags on, there’s a temptation to just “hang in there” until normal comes back around. But as many people have realized, normal isn’t coming back. The events of the pandemic have forever changed the ways that we live and work. And while that isn’t wholly good or bad news, it does mean that you need to make accommodations for life as it is right now, not how you expect it will be in six months or a year.
The biggest area where I see people delaying new expenditures is in tech. After all, nobody wants to spend money on hardware or programs that will only be temporarily useful. However, the unfortunate reality of this situation is that you’re likely running into problems with your team. And those problems need to be addressed now rather than being put on the backburner in an indefinite wait for a return to normalcy.
And by now, you’ve probably run into a few hurdles. You’ve had six-or-so months in a new environment, so what isn’t working? If you’re still working remotely, as many of us are, what current tech solutions do you have that could be removed or replaced? Certainly your team is using new tools to adjust to the current climate, but there’s a real possibility that the new tools are overly burdensome or redundant. And if that’s the case, then you want to upgrade sooner rather than later.
Ask your team what tech really works for them, and what tech they’re using because you’ve asked them to. Six months ago, we all had to make snap, immediate changes to adjust to entirely new working environments. And even if certain programs or tools made it possible to get here, that doesn’t mean there isn’t something else that can save your team time, money, and a lot of headaches.
In the Internet Age, it doesn’t take a Fortune 500 company or a mogul to get their hands on new tech solutions. Most new products are relatively inexpensive and highly accessible to smaller ventures, so there’s nothing stopping you from making upgrades.
We hear it every day: The world is changing. And while the coronavirus has brought about perhaps the most obvious changes, the influx of new ideas did not start in 2020. It has been happening with each passing year, and it has drastically changed the way that we all work.
This isn’t solely because of new technology, either. The passage of time inevitably changes things; a few years ago I ran a large company, where now I’m working more with smaller, local ventures. I had a lot of habits and behaviors that enabled me to be successful back then that maybe haven’t served me as well lately.
And I recently spoke with a friend who is in a similar boat; still managing businesses, but on a much smaller scale than he’s used to. Before, we both relied heavily on our time management skills, but our new roles have made most of that unnecessary by virtue of smaller projects.
Of course, we didn’t just stop managing our time. But we both adopted new processes and scaled them down to smaller models. A big move for me was in recognizing the high tech management software I used for tasks, projects, and my “to do” lists was just overkill. Now, I use a whiteboard in my office and once a week summarize in an email what everyone in my various organizations needs to know. Lower tech, but it serves the need efficiently.
If your work circumstances have changed, like many of ours have, how are you changing with them? Have you consciously made an effort to do things differently? Don’t throw out all your old processes; they worked for a reason, after all. But if you can adapt them, scale them to your new situation, you’d be surprised how much more efficient you can be in your new role.