Corona and its side effects – what we can learn from the crisis

The corona virus affected and changed out lives tremendously the last months.

Usual activities, like the freedom of movement, the interaction with social contacts and the working situation are limited. If it is possible, we should work from home and leave our houses just for a few reasons.

It is a time of renunciation and restrictions that we all are looking forward to end.

But everything in life has two perspectives! Most of the time, however, we do not want to admit it because we’re too busy focusing on the negative things. Nevertheless, even from such challenging times like these, we can take along something positive with us for our future working situation. We should ask ourselves right now what we can learn from the crisis and from which side effects we can benefit in the future.

1.) Be able to adapt.

Nobody was really prepared for the current situation. A thought that a virus would paralyze the whole world and especially the economy never came to our minds before. What we can learn from this situation is to expect the unexpected and be prepared for unusual occurrences. Oscar Wilde once said: “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.“ The world changes a little every day. At least since the beginning of the digital age, we have been confronted with constant change and permanent progress. Corona crisis has brought many changes with it, to which a company and person must learn to adapt.

That means flexibility must be a certain part of our lives. People need to have willingness to make changes, to rethink processes regarding the current situation, to have the courage to change and to take new tracks.

In the language of business administration, the word is called disposition. This situation is often given in young companies, where processes are not deadlocked yet or routines prevail companies. At this point, you should stick to start-ups that have a high flexibility rate and adapt good and quickly to changes. Specifically, this means that you accept the situation and try to make the best of it.

Darwin’s theory of evolution, “survival of the fittest” applies here perfectly- those who adapt best, will survive.

2.) Be innovative and flexible.

In order to be able to adapt to new situations in the best possible way, the right solutions are needed. People often speak about “think outside the box”. Thinking outside the box and looking for new, unconventional approaches and solutions is actually a good start. In this context the two terms “Innovation” and “Design Thinking” are useful.

Design thinking is primarily about placing user wishes and needs in the foreground – and thinking carefully about what the customers actually want or need. Keep in mind, if there is no need, the product will sell poorly. The design thinking process consists of six steps: understanding the problem, observing it, defining the point of view, collecting ideas, and finally concentrating on prototypes and concrete solutions.

Since restaurants all over the world had to close overnight, to guarantee protection of the corona virus, people lost nearly their whole income from one day to another.

However, many of them did not despair in this situation, but tried everything to be able to supply their customers via delivery service or take-away. Many of the people may have never intended to offer this extra service before the corona pandemic. However, they have adapted to the situation, acted innovatively and are now able to offer their customers this flexible service.

Thus a lot of businesses have created a second lucrative mainstay for the time after Corona and are able to provide this offer on a long term basis. Something like that also happened in many smaller fashion stores, which opened an online shop to be able to continue to sell their goods. Furthermore, some other businesses are now selling self-made protective masks. This list could go on in so many ways around the world. The saying “necessity makes inventive” is very applicable in this situation.

3.) Time to learn and educate.

Many people are faced with the fact that they currently have a lower workload than they had before the pandemic. In the past a lot of people often wished for exactly that, but now times changed.

For some employees, doing nothing can also be a stressful situation. You feel bad or demotivated without a proper task. But more free time can also be an opportunity to learn new things. Now there would be a good time to offer online trainings and train employees in areas where they haven’t had much experience before.

What most of us have learned during this time is probably how to use all kinds of online tools to keep the flow of information in the company going. In the last few months nearly all of us have become professionals in video conferencing. The situation made it necessary to acquire the computer and technical knowledge to be able to deal with everyday work. For example, if you previously had to drive two hours by car for a meeting from one office to another, now a few seconds are enough for the Internet connection to be established. We can say that the coronavirus has achieved what many companies and digitalisation experts failed to do before – the business world has taken another big step in digitalisation. We can be curious how the situation develops after the pandemic. The whole new situation could also be an opportunity to give employees more opportunities to work from home, which would be a great relief, especially for employees with children.

4.) New Chances for executives.

The Corona creates huge challenges, especially for managers. Executives suddenly need to make more serious decisions about how the business will go, find finance,  people management solutions and much more. Nevertheless, great challenges also bring along great opportunities to prove yourself and your capabilities as a boss. Nobody can always make everyone happy. There will be always some problems, but if you are able to find good solutions, motivate your workers and guide your company through those difficult times, then you will be shown trust, respect and loyalty.

Correct communication is the key. In order to maintain trust in your employees, open, transparent and empathic communication is necessary. During this challenging situation, try to take some time to strengthen the relationship with your employees. Listen to what they have to say and listen to their worries and wishes. Give them feedback in the right way and environment. (Artikel: Mitarbeiter-Feedback: 4 Grundregeln für nachhaltige Mitarbeitergespräche). Appreciation and recognition for your employees must not be lost in the home office. Therefore, show your employees that they their contribution of work, is important and indispensable. In addition, especially in times of remote work, internal communication and a good working atmosphere has a enormously high value. In order to evaluate the mood and motivation in the team and to make potentials visible, we have developed teamazing insights.

You can also look up further facts about executives and their challenges in our article: Die Macht hinter den 14 Prinzipien für Führungskräfte von Amazon„.

5.) Time to charge batteries.

Less work, shorter ways to work and  the whole day at home can be a desirable change of the stressful daily life. Suddenly, we have more time again for our loved ones, our pets or our garden. Many people also use their new free time to treat themselves. Since the beginning of the corona pandemic and the closing of the gyms, home workouts are booming. However, not only those people, who used to do sport before as well, but also many non-athletes found their new hobby in different sport activities. Furthermore, some others report to finally have more time to eat healthier and cook for themselves, instead of getting an unhealthy snack at lunch break. Another positive trend is that people are spending more time in nature to get some fresh air. Observing the streets, you have seldom seen so many cyclists or walkers during the week.

Now it’s time to recharge your batteries, get new energy and spoil your body and soul witch something you love. The whole crisis also has positive effects for companies. Healthy employees are more motivated, can work more effectively and thus contribute positively to the further development of the company.

The corona crisis won’t last forever. At some point we will be able to live our “normal life” again, but with the difference that we will then be richer by a few experiences. Nothing can throw us off track that quickly anymore. Therefore, on the way back to normal life, it is important not to loose your mind but to take the chance to make the best of it.

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