What a difference a month makes. Although it feels like another lifetime ago, it’s only been several weeks since the coronavirus wasn’t dominating every headline and every facet of our daily lives. We could watch sports, meet up with friends for drinks, and, perhaps most notably, go to work.
Of course, we are now in the midst of an unprecedented global work-from-home arrangement that looks like it will last for months. Because social distancing measures were implemented relatively quickly, many employees are working without familiar hardware or software, while missing the team identity and collaboration that actually makes the workplace such a compelling destination for so many people. As The Atlantic notes, “Almost everything that doesn’t feel like work at the office is what makes the most creative, most productive work at the office possible.”
As a result, leaders have a unique challenge: how do you foster a creative, collaborative, and productive environment when everyone is stuck at home.
While some people may be working from home for the first time, many more are simply continuing a trend that’s more than tripled the number of people telecommuting since 2005. In the technology sector, remote work is more normative than it is in other industries, but these are not normal times. We are all navigating the COVID-19 pandemic for the first time, which makes leadership right now uniquely difficult.