Business must brace for "Long-Covid"

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by Perry Gray

  • Covid impacts business in a very similar way to how it effects the individual.
  • Once infected, we triage the short-term symptoms to get through the suffering.
  • Business has done just that. We have dealt with the lock downs, isolation and disruption to business, and found a way to survive.
  • Now we must come to grips with the “Long-Covid” issues.
  • On an individual basis, Long-Covid takes many forms, such as extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, heart palpitations etc.
  • We are only now seeing the long-term effects on the health of an organisation, on a business level.
  • In order to keep the team safe, the short-term remedies over the last 2.5 years, focused on isolation and working from home.
  • While necessary and sensible, what does that mean for business long term?
  • We are now hearing terms like “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting”.
  • Are these symptoms of Long-Covid, or simply a consequence of teams that were never engaged in the first place?
  • Business is in a very difficult position in that, it needs to rebuild eroded connection, culture and performance and understands that physically bringing the team together, is a crucial part of that rebuilding.
  • However, the power has shifted from corporate to the individual within an environment of staff shortages and ubiquitous social media.
  • Further, anecdotal self-reporting suggests working from home can work, and in some cases improved productivity.
  • The conundrum is, how do we get people back together, when the team don’t want to commute, and the business can operate with everyone at home?
  • The last 2.5 years had adversely effected connection, culture, brand, performance, innovation, morale, turnover, mentoring, loyalty, engagement, belonging, collaboration, purpose, security.
  • These are all soft metrics that take a lot of time and trust to rebuild and grow. However, it is these soft metrics that are indicators of a resilient culture that fuels a high-performance team and organisation.
  • Every organisation is different, functioning in varying environments, which necessitates a bespoke response to how they can recover and deal with the effects of Long-Covid.
  • The answer will always be a “hybrid” environment, because every organisation is hybrid, as indeed its teams must be.
  • The team need to physically be together to rebuild the existing culture as well as onboard and train new talent. How often, where, and in what kind of environment, will be different for every organisation, and will shift over time.
  • As before Covid, there is no “silver bullet” or “one size fits all”. The solution will be as individual as the make up of the team. It must be co-created. It must have the voice of the customer (team) at its heart. It must be authentic, emergent, and evolving.

These unique environments that balance the agendas of the corporate, cultural, operational, virtual and physical environments, to provide purposeful gathering and effective collaboration, is what the Incorp team have been doing globally for 34 years.

We would welcome the opportunity to co-create and deliver the perfect new home for you and your team to combat the effects of long-covid.