Leading from Home

For most of the population currently working from home, this situation is outside of their “normal” comfort zone, which is strange because most of us are pretty comfortable when we’re at home. When we are outside of our comfort zone, it increases our anxiety even if we are in a situation where we have nothing to do – or so it seems. The reality is that many leaders operating from home feel like they have never worked harder. They are more tired, at the end of the day, than when they dealt with a crazy commute. So, what to do? Here are three ways you can Energize Action for you, your team and your family.

Connect: We are social beings, and while we are physically isolated, it is important to connect socially. We need to consciously replace the casual office walk-by with regular check-ins with our team (video-based preferred). These team meetings give everyone a chance to share their experiences and concerns.

With your family members who are in the same home as you, make sure you all eat at least one meal together every day. If you are not in the same location, share a meal over a video chat. Make a point to connect on a personal level. These regular conversations help us all feel united and not quite so isolated. This is especially important with older members of the family.

Goals: Having a goal creates energy and purpose. During your team check-ins, have everyone share their goal for the day. Short-term goals are really important right now, because we need to have space where we feel in control, and a few “quick wins” keeps optimism in the game. Be sure to link these goals and activities to the value they bring to the team and to the business as a whole. There has never been a more vital time where your team members need to know that their efforts make a difference.

If you have a student at home, have them set two goals for every day. One for themselves and one for the family. For the youngest among us, it can be to set the table; for the teenager, it could be to cook dinner. This creates a sense of accomplishment as well as shared accountability for the home.

Routine: With the connecting and goal-setting mentioned above, you are already starting to build a routine. At the subconscious level, we are all resetting our comfort zones. Be purposeful when defining your comfort zones, while you establish your routine and new healthy habits. While we love the idea of doing whatever we want, whenever we want, that much choice creates even more anxiety. Usually, we wind up doing nothing. Routine and schedules create the certainty of what comes next, even if it is just a few hours down the road. It is the certainty that we all need. Having your team check-ins, your one-on-ones, and other meetings, creates the sense of routine in work. At the same time, reinforcing with your team members the importance of setting a start and end time for “work,” helps establish balance for yourself, the team, and the family.

Connecting, setting goals and establishing a routine are three ways you can Energize Action and reduce anxiety for you, your team and your family.