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Six strategies to work in the new normal

I’d like to paint the scene of what it’s like working in the new normal. It’s Monday morning, and you’re joining your fourth call. The meeting has just started when you hear your children arguing, followed by a loud crash.

Both kids are competing for the same laptop to do their virtual schooling. You’re trying to focus on the meeting, but are distracted by your surroundings.

Is this a familiar situation? Many of us have experienced days, or even weeks, just like this. This seems to be a common experience as parents and children adapt to the ‘new normal’ of working and studying from home. Many employees are faced with this situation on a day-to-day basis and are left scrambling for solutions as schools reopen across the country.

Providing resources to help improve remote working

Allscripts Women’s Engagement (AWE) is a program focused on the goal of supporting women in managing their careers and professional development while also developing Allscripts as an employer of choice for women.

Over a month ago, the Allscripts Women’s Engagement (AWE) sponsored a panel discussion “Empowering Women to Work in the New Normal,” to address these concerns and help everyone understand this common problem. The discussion featured:

  • Allscripts SVP Global Human Resources Erikka Buracchio,
  • Allscripts Vice President & Chief Privacy and Security Counsel Robyn Eckerling
  • Veradigm Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Reisinger

The panel’s theme and idea were conceptualized by Allscripts SVP Chief Compliance Counsel Legal Tejal Vakharia. I had the great opportunity of moderating this discussion.

The panelists shared their personal stories, examples of how they cope with the current situation and creative ideas on how to face the challenge.

Strategies to work in the new normal

The discussion highlighted some of the major challenges introduced by the pandemic that have disrupted our lives. Here are six strategies that emerged from the discussion:

For organizational leaders: Lead through uncertainty

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained businesses, put the global economy on an indefinite hiatus and mandated organizations to change the way they operated. Unprecedented times like these call for unprecedented leadership. Leadership often sets the tone of culture in the organization. How leaders respond to such crises sets the stage for communication, new processes and responses to the rapidly changing situation. Organizations should continue to monitor the situation and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to stay aware and provide guidelines for employees. Many employers, including Allscripts, have adopted flexible work arrangements globally and are committed to remain resilient in the face of uncertainty.

For team managers: Set group expectations

Create expectations for your team regarding availability for meetings, deadlines for projects and important deadlines. Be transparent about your needs for supervising children’s education and caring for a child, parent, partner or relative. An empowering culture is created when managers lead by setting examples for their teams.

For employees/individuals: 

Make informed choices

Shop responsibly and stay aware of the situation as it develops. Follow the “SMS” guidelines of social distancing, wearing a mask, and sanitizing hands and disinfecting frequently used surfaces.

Seek help

Understand your personal and professional situations and seek assistance to help yourself with adequate safety precautions. Share responsibilities with family members and help neighbors, friends and family who have been affected the worst, especially the at-risk and/or senior citizens and single parent families.

Take care of your physical and mental health

The pandemic has radically changed societal norms and interactions. For many, this has introduced higher risks for isolation, loneliness and depression. Take advantage of the different technology platforms available to connect with friends and family and be there for one another. Commit to at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity and take advantage of any employer wellness programs to track your activity and earn rewards.

Prioritize

While every task may seem urgent and important, it’s increasingly essential to learn to prioritize tasks and understand the impact of completing a task. If a task is critical with high urgency, importance and impact, get those done as soon as possible. Using Kanban boards and planner tools have proven to be been helpful for many professionals in the past few weeks to prioritize tasks at home and at work.

These are just a few strategies many of us learned from the AWE panel discussion. With the future still a mystery, learning new strategies to work in the new normal is crucial.

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