Coronavirus and the dispersed workforce

Covid19 & the dispersed workforce

There are it seems, hundreds of different job categories And I dare say that with all the subcategories an order of magnitude more.

The location at which your work is conducted does vary enormously upon the services you are providing, for example in the retail space with the exception of online services it’s very much a brick-and-mortar location and a face to face engagement, therefore, the work location is defined. However, for large swathes of other workers, the location is completely flexible, especially if all you require to carry out your work is a computing device, and telephone capability, plus of course an internet connection.

But it’s not always about what’s possible, because there are so many other factors to consider.

Working in a suitable environment covers a multitude of possibilities, such as having somewhere to sit (or stand) comfortably for several hours, somewhere to sensibly locate your computer, and of course you’ll need nearby power sockets. Decent lighting is also really helpful, as is natural daylight for many. Your location (home say) could be shared during the working day with others which could present challenges to the other or all parties. Some people struggle to work without having others around them, we are after all social creatures! So it’s far from straightforward for many.

Operationally, we know that the advent of cloud services has played a significant role in enabling remote working, but of course, there’s still hardware involved and hardware does occasionally fail, or when coupled with software, get its knickers in a twist and do weird things, causing you to be unable to fulfil your work commitments. Whilst software can usually be triaged and remotely brought back into service, hardware can prove a little more challenging. There are many moving parts to any business including its people, and dispersing the workforce does pose a whole bunch of new challenges, which are surmountable, but not always easily. If you’re able to travel relatively easily to an office location, then it’s an inconvenience to get problems resolved, but more remote workers could find this rather more disruptive.

Given that this is not an exhaustive look at the issues associated with managing a dispersed workforce, it does give us some ideas of the considerations when planning, especially when putting a business continuity plan in place.

So whilst many people have been remote office workers for some time, rolling out a blanket solution isn’t without considerable challenge.

I’m pretty certain that the current covid19 crisis has caught many businesses completely unprepared and realising that it’s not just a technology play.

If I can be of any assistance in your planning or implementation phases, please just shout

Practice (alone) does not make perfect

Like all walks of life – work, sport, school – if you are practicing the wrong things, or the wrong way of doing something, you are simply repeating your errors over and over – frustrating and clearly limiting your success.

So how do you stay on track with the right things to practice? Clearly a good start point is to exercise good self discipline. This is the foundation for any personal development. Thinking that the issue is “not my fault” and the issue is caused by something “out there somewhere” is a sure fire way to have reduced control of your life. The first step therefore is to take control of yourself and your discipline including your thoughts and “self-talk”. Be sure to catch yourself talking positively with a “can do” attitude, and stop the cannot do and self limiting speak.
Finding a good coach is a smart step too – whether this is within your current role or an objective outsider. A good coach understands that as an individual, you already have all the necessary resources available to you, but they are the difference, that makes the difference.
For example, if I’m playing golf and struggling to get the results I desire, it probably makes sense to have a coach watch what I do in order to help reflect the areas for improvement – I recall this very real example where the golf pro explained to me (after watching me for a while) that he saw the problem with my game. He noted that I was trying to hit the ball…. Seemed initially to be a ridiculous comment…on closer inspection however, he was absolutely right. He went on to explain to me that if I swing the club, the club will hit the ball…. He moved my focus away from my desire to knock the ball into next week (and missing badly), into simply swinging the club accurately and all would work out.. On this occasion, I saw an instant improvement, but of course, the challenge is to keep making those improvements regularly and being consistent. This is something that your coach can bring to your performance.
This same coaching approach will produce a similar effect in sales. The challenge is that many sales managers and business owners are not well equipped to fulfill his role, so your best option is to find an external coach and develop the right habits.

Who is coaching you?

never quitWhether you are Jonny Wilkinson, Steph Houghton or Mo Farah, the one thing they all have in common is that they all had, and continue to have support to develop their skills and success – a sports coach – in fact probably several coaches with differing and complementary skills.

How about you? Are you so talented that you don’t need coaching? Maybe it’s more simple than that – you simply lack ambition?

No of course not, It’s none of the above is it….you just haven’t been thinking in these terms have you? But now that we are discussing it, it makes sense doesn’t it? In fact it’s rather more common than most of us might think.

So now you are thinking about it – what will you do differently?

Give me a call now – that’s right be a “do it now” person of action.

Success awaits you – the bold and audacious, I salute you.

Together Everyone achieves More – It’s true

I wonder when, during your busy schedule and heavy demands on your time, you last thought about an old (or current) friend or colleague for whom life has dealt a different set of cards!

We all know that we are enduring a tough downturn in the global economy, and the result for employment numbers is not great. However, pragmatically, times of change often present opportunities albeit that uncovering them is sometimes a little more challenging. Thinking about others is a great way of taking some of the personal stress away – especially when licking your wounds because you’ve not had your best day.

I decided recently, as I was thinking about what I could do to help, that I would use my online presence to assist my friends to raise awareness for them. I decided to dedicate a page of my blog to promoting their profiles and CVs as my part in helping them to secure a new role. Follow this Link to review them

I read an article recently that bemoaned larger “corporates” who were taking the lions share of the available “talent” and I felt compelled to comment that this was not the case. There is an fact a lot of talent available, it just doesn’t shout about it. Their CV might not be the best written in the pile, or they might not use sufficient wow words (my daughter in year 6 has used this descriptor recently) to showcase their capabilities, but it is there.

I would urge you to do a couple of things:

1. Think today (and every day) what little thing can I do to help – and do it

2. Doing what I have always done to recruit will get me the same results I have always got, so think about a small change and look beyond the CV and you might strike gold

But what do I know

I wish you enough

This story was emailed to me by a friend a few years ago, and recently the words “I wish you enough” jumped into my conscious thoughts as I was writing a comment on someone’s blog. I love the story and the meaning, so wanted to take the moment to share it with you here and hope that it resonates with you too.

To my family and friends – I wish you enough

via I wish you enough.

Values and principles

Because we always see and experience 100% of the time through our own eyes, sometimes we may struggle to be truly objective on all issues.
I thought I would begin with that caveat, as I recognise that my rantings are entirely “as I see things” So to my post ……

Through innovation in technology and in how we communicate, we have never had more channels open to us through which to engage and communicate with other people, or not. This is coming to my point; despite the open ubiquitous nature of communications, I have found that rather than improving communications, it has stifled them. There may be many reasons for this and perhaps the very fact that we are spoilt for choice, may well be the issue – communications overload!!!; Perhaps responding to incoming “traffic” has become a firefighting exercise, and if you or your “message” are deemed unimportant to the recipient, then you are possibly going to the bottom of the queue; relegated to the “I’ll deal with it when can” group.
My personal experience of late is that I have seen a rapid surge in periods of deafening silence over not just days, but weeks following commitments to keep me updated. I’m not sure that anyone could argue that this could be viewed as either desirable, or indeed welcome.
Fast forward to some of the social media channels and again it’s a not uncommon experience for an individual or organisation to use, Twitter, for example as a broadcast; automating a series of outbound marketing messages in the hope of hooking some new customers. How they intend to do this is a little puzzling, as I’ve replied a few times to a feed and guess what? Yep, radio silence.
So why is this? Are people so ignorant that they can’t be bothered to respond, or are the tools not in place to support the meteoric growth in channels of communications….. Who knows?

Can I get off my soapbox now before I fall off…

Slow Dance by David L Weatherford

I came a cross this poem and wanted to share it as I thought is was beautiful and inspiring. It is by David Weatherford and can be found on his web site

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

Will you reach your full potential?

I was showering this morning and began thinking about the year just gone and the coming year ahead. I was thinking about all the well wishes I was receiving and sending and I started to think about some of the language we use and ended up thinking about reaching our full potential. Further thought on this had me delving deeper and asking myself some questions which I would like to pose to you here now- Firstly what exactly is your full potential? How do you measure it and where is the ‘limit’?
I’m still pondering on that one and hope to hear some alternative perspectives and thoughts.
I hope you reach yours and achieve fulfilment 🙂

What did you learn in 2009?

I guess we’ve all felt the recession in some form and have felt some pain or seen some benefit, depending upon the business we are in, or the state of our personal finances. Whatever our position, we have seen impact. Often we have no ability to influence what happens to us, but we can absolutely choose how we respond to what happens to us. So I decided to share an abridged version of my 2009.
I left long term employment in October 2008 as a result of taking a redundancy package, and immediately began a consulting assignment. At the start of 2009 I decided to press on and see what business I could become involved in and although not consciously, something far from what I had been doing (it was only later that this realisation came to me).
I became involved in publishing and assessing sales people’s capabilities and fit for specific roles and spread myself so thinly that I found it difficult to explain when asked, what business I was in. During this time I also began to network extensively and learnt much about social media and social networking. I read significantly too and took the opportunity to invest in personal development- training with Delta TCC and completing three INLPTA diplomas: Leadership, Coaching and Sales all were delivered using NLP techniques which provide a platform for enhanced communication with people.

After the summer I came to a realisation that I had much invested in my experiences to date and expertise gained from more than 20 years in the Telecom market place and so I made a decision to return and subsequently found my self a great role to immerse myself in, and am delighted to be doing so.

So what have I learnt? I learnt a huge amount about myself, a lot about people generally, and about human nature, as well as behaviour. I learnt much more about business generally too – certainly more than I would ever have expected to. Overall an invaluable life lesson and absolutely unmissable. I am most definitely a better person, and more heavily armed to take on business than I could ever have hoped to be – PRICELESS

Out of the mouths of babes

I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago (Sun 6th Dec) when my wife and I took our two girls (4 years 357 days old and 3 and a half) ice-skating. I am a complete amateur, and hold onto whatever I can in order to stay vertical, whilst my wife whizzes around generally having a ball. This year we hired a “penguin” which children can hang onto as they get familiar with the whole slippery floor experience, and for fun my wife whizzed them around with it one at a time whilst I edged cautiously around the perimeter wall.

At one time, I was holding my eldest daughter’s hand as we crept gingerly around and I said to her that “daddy was useless at this skating lark”, her reply almost floored me there and then “imagine that you were good at it daddy” she said – how good was that? At least I didn’t fall over (SWMBO did though).

No children or adults were hurt during the telling of this short story.