With the second anniversary of the pandemic just around the corner, we have learned to deal with it in the workplace and our personal lives. Remote work and Zoom-calls have become somewhat normal. Challenging times always accelerate change. Before Covid, home office was a rare exception for which we had to fight hard. Suddenly, from one day to the other our work life had to change drastically. I have been working from home for quite some time now and before this drastic change, very few people got it. “How do you get up in the morning and motivate yourself? I could never do that.” Well, everyone somehow managed to make it happen.
While I appreciate this change towards a more flexible work life, I also see the negatives. Right at the start of the pandemic, I felt that we all reached out proactively and checked on our friends and family. We all sat in the same boat – the whole world was in lockdown and we missed seeing our loved ones in person. For most of 2020, I had the feeling that we kept doing this. In 2021, I saw it decreasing slowly. I guess because we all became a bit tired. We did not – and still do not – know how long this will last. It felt like being in the middle of a blurry movie not knowing when we could leave the theatre.
I tried to keep functioning and hustling, but I did see that the lack of social interactions affected not only my work performance and creativity but also my mood. Being an entrepreneur is hard and very often it is a lonely endeavour. Even if you are surrounded by your team, you are the one who makes the decisions in the end. But in times of a pandemic, the loneliness factor is even worse. Before the pandemic, I used to meet up with fellow entrepreneurs or attend events. Since 2020, I have cut down a lot on my social life. I have a kind of “core group” of people I meet. While it was good to cut out the unnecessary socializing we all feel obliged to do for the sake of our careers, I really missed the in-person meetings to discuss and exchange ideas.
Towards the end of the last year, I made a conscious effort to reconnect again. Most of it is still online, but it is the discussions which matter and not the medium. We have to make it work. I meet for walks with a friend where we discuss everything from career, to leisure activities to private to topics. Furthermore, I started what I call “walk-the-talk” – if I walk on my own, I schedule longer discussions with peers and mentors. Some of these talks are more structured than others. Sometimes, I just need advice from a more experienced entrepreneur or somebody asks for mine. Sometimes, I need feedback on a new project and I use the discussions to go into a lot of detail. And sometimes it is just a simple rant to get things out of our systems and keep going. After every talk I feel so much more energized and inspired – it almost feels as BC (before Covid 😉 ).
As convenient and comfortable as it may feel to work from your couch at home, we are human beings after all. This means we need social interaction – digitally or in person, it does not really matter. Just make sure you reach out and reconnect. I promise you, you will be more positive and productive and reconnect with yourself as well.
Have a great week ahead!