Brevard Nelson, CEO of Caribbean Ideas Synapse
I have to admit that the opportunity to Work from Home during this pandemic has allowed me to be a lot more accessible to help with my son and spend time with him, when I would have otherwise been in the office. But it also means that the ‘work’ time blurs a lot and time management and balance is important. As an employer I can also appreciate the challenges organisations face during this time. The Great Resignation has been that economic trend over the last year in which employees voluntarily resign from their jobs in favour of remote working arrangements or their own businesses. When companies started considering bringing their staff back out to the office, many employees opted for the freedom to work from home or remotely. Here are a few quick thoughts for both employers and employees to be successful during this period:
- Re-evaluate your strict office requirements – If you haven’t already, this is critical. Our team was already accustomed to WFH arrangements prior to the lockdowns and restrictions as shared in this article, but the pandemic proved to many that work can be done remotely and in some cases team members are more productive. So a common space for meetings and team sessions is fine but you should really assess if they need to be in your building to do the work
- Remain agile to attract and retain the best talent – You need to adapt to the future of work. Your top talent knows this and as they assess what is important in their lives, chances are family, work-life balance, etc will rise to the top, so you need to ensure you are in the consideration set when they are making career decisions
- Emphasize the importance of employee mental and physical health – This period has been very hard on your team. Their physical health may manifest itself externally but some of the mental health challenges have long lasting effects. Invest in Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP), or psychologists to help your team get through this period. Also consider team virtual challenges to conquer the pandemic bulge. Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last is a great book that brings the 4 happiness chemicals to life – Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphins, Oxytocin and highlights the role cortisol plays. It’s important to understand how some of your decisions are impacting your team.
- Restore your Work-Life equilibrium – Take the time you need to try to restore or achieve that elusive work-life balance. Explore what you are passionate about and spend time on that, maybe challenge yourself to use another region of your brain, or sink yourself into the activity that would give you that dopamine rush to your reward centre balanced with some activities that will inject more serotonin into your system and ultimately make you happier.
- Retool, upskill and chart your career path – In addition to using the commute time you saved to spend with your family, you should also map out your retooling/upskilling strategy. Identify courses you had been thinking about doing and go knock them out. The internet is littered with platforms like Udemy and Coursera, Learning Management Systems, content (eg webinars, podcasts, etc) that give you the opportunity to learn something new. Our team at Caribbean Ideas Academy is taking a slightly different approach and creating content for the Caribbean Professionals by Caribbean Professionals and a whole lot more, so I encourage you to check out the courses and services available.
- Make sure you are aligned with the Vision – Regardless of where you move to, you should ensure that you are fully aligned with the vision of the organisation and see yourself achieving self-actualisation or at least fulfilling your professional and personal goals in the process. Once you commit to an organisation, do what is necessary to help your employer remain competitive. That will ensure that you remain a valuable member of the team and improve your ‘stock’ value to employers
Brevard Nelson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Caribbean Ideas Synapse. He has over 20 years of experience in the world of Marketing and Communications. He is impassioned by our Caribbean region utilising technology to drive development. When he’s not working with Team Synapse on integrated marketing client strategies, he’s actively involved in various ways to give back to and create the next generation of leaders through multiple non-profit organisations.