Managing the long-term effects of the COVID crisis

Build a new reality that works for your employees, your customers, and your business.

Social distancing, temperature checks, and working from home: the effects of the COVID crisis may be here for quite some time. Thinking ahead to how these long-term changes may impact you, your employees, and your customers can help your business thrive as we work toward finding a new normal.

How to succeed at remote work setups

According to a survey done before COVID-19, remote employees worked almost a day and a half more each month than their in-office peers. While getting more work done is a positive, pay attention to how new work arrangements might affect work-life balance for you and any of your employees.

1.4 days

the amount of extra work time remote employees log each month1

Action steps

  1. Create clear boundaries between work and life.
  2. Communicate those boundaries. For example, an email signature saying you won’t be responding after 6pm.
  3. Create clear “breaks” that are set in your calendars and honor them.

How to cultivate business relationships

Nearly half of people say work friendships make them happier, so it’s good business to nurture these relationships during social distancing. This is particularly important if you have a close-knit team or have a strong support system through your work.

46%

of people are happier thanks to coworker friendships2

Action steps

  1. Express camaraderie in small ways: implement virtual coffee chats with employees or lunches with vendors.
  2. Engage customers with handwritten notes: “We appreciate your business” on a takeout food order, for example.
  3. Make in-person meetings more fun (and create a conversation starter) with custom masks for your team.

How to plan for the future

Just over half of Americans expect changes to the way we work, socialize, and travel to stick around even after COVID-19. So you may need to find more permanent ways to connect with your customers from a distance.

51%

of people think COVID-response habits are here to stay3

Action steps

  1. Help customers experience your “in-store” environment at home via custom playlists or other thoughtful additions.
  2. If you’ve implemented contact tracing, health questionnaires, or temperature checks, automate them so they feel routine.
  3. Design a permanent socially distant offering; customers may engage more comfortably if they know the service isn’t temporary.

The effects of social distancing may vary depending on the size and type of your business. Look for ways to use distance to your advantage and build a business designed to thrive in the new reality.

  1. The Benefits of Working From Home,” Airtasker, March 31, 2020.
  2. LinkedIn Study Reveals Work BFFs Make Us Happier at the Office,” April 2014.
  3. About Half of Americans Say Their Lives Will Remain Changed in Major Ways When the Pandemic is Over,” Pew Research Center, September 17, 2020.