Right now, our wonderful community is working from home, with everyone isolated from their work buddies and peers.
We believe that right now we all need all the support we can get. As we find ourselves unable to grab that coffee or glass of wine with peers and discuss how others are navigating this crisis, we are naturally at risk of feeling detached. So, we decided to reach out to some of your peers on your behalf to ask them a few key questions that we felt you all might be interested in. We know that at the moment the most important thing is to remain authentic in who you are and what you offer. What we have always offered is simple: connection.
Despite the fact that this is an unprecedented global crisis and is a foreign and an overwhelming situation for all of us, some of our more senior leaders have experienced global economic challenges in the past, have used the opportunity to adapt, pivot and grow and have remained standing. From chatting with our candidates, it is clear that, unlike some of our more senior folk, our younger practitioners have never been presented with these global challenges in their professional lives.
So, in the spirit of helping those around us and cultivating hope, let’s share, learn and support each other until we’re all back at our desks - guns blazing.
We asked Sherawaye Hagger Consumer Lead at Hill and Knowlton Strategies to share her thoughts and advice on how to best navigate working remotely and managing a team.
What do you feel you have done in your career to date that is now paying off and helping you pivot to working remotely?
Looking back, there are three areas that have really helped me adjust to working remotely.
How are you managing your day now and how is it different to your day in the office? What would your advice to managers be to protect a team culture and morale?
In terms of managing my day, I think it is just about protecting yourself mentally. I hate the word slow; I’ve never been a slow person. I do everything at breakneck speed. I find it hard to use ‘slow’ in my vocabulary. I would say my days aren’t slow but ‘gentler’. I wake up, go for a bike ride with my sons before the working day and the gentle starts are so beautiful. With my team - culture and communication are more important than ever. So, for me, my priority is still my team and colleagues. I really need to make sure they are okay mentally especially when some of our work force are here by themselves, with no family in Singapore. If you have staff on employment passes, it’s so important to make sure they are alright. Check in on them more than needed. Lastly think of fun things to do… I am currently trying to find an online pub quiz that we can all do together. If anyone knows of anything, let me know!
What do we each individually need to be doing to help our firms thrive in this climate?
I’m grateful to have access to an executive coach and I spoke to her yesterday about this. There is a lot out of things which are simply out of control. But there are a few things which we can control. My advice is keep active, spot the opportunities and continue to add value. By this, I mean lead a training session, write a trends piece with your team, find a way to remain engaged.
What are you grateful for?
I am so grateful for my kids, that they remain unfazed for this. At the end of day or start of the morning they are there for me. At work, I can’t believe how lucky I am that I have peers who are truly caring and who I can text at anytime to chat to. Put simply, it is the friends and family around you who make you grateful to the universe for putting them on your path.