As the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on into month two of social distancing and work-from-home orders, firms around the country are finding ways to adapt. Although it may at times feel like learning to fly while building the plane at 30,000 feet, MPs in many firms are seeing the resilience and adaptability of team members shine through this otherwise dark chapter.
But that’s not true for everyone, and astute leaders need to recognize the disparity that may exist in their own firms.
For some, embracing remote technology and managing their own time is empowering and uplifting, and they are maximizing their productivity. For others, staying focused and keeping priorities straight is proving to be a real challenge.
For some, social distancing and working from home has allowed them to reconnect with those they love, and technology has allowed them to grow even more connected to their coworkers. For others, isolation has led to bouts of stress, anxiety and loneliness, and social scientists have reported a disturbing increase in domestic violence during this pandemic.
For some, there is a new level of enthusiasm for the technological changes that have been thrust onto their firms, breaking through the barriers and obstacles that existed before and pushing them solidly into the future with new ways of working. For others, getting back to a normal routine in familiar settings with the usual processes is the ultimate goal.
For some, the disruption of everyday life has led to an energizing search for new educational opportunities or even a recommitment to their New Year’s resolutions. For others, simply surviving the pandemic and returning to a familiar routine will be a triumph.
Our hope is that a majority of the good men and women who make up the public accounting profession fall into the first group – agile, resilient and ultimately dedicated to creating permanent change for the better. But we all need to look out for those in the second group – they will need extra help getting through the coming weeks and may feel disconnected from the progress once this is over.
While we encourage all firm leaders to wrap your arms around everyone, please be sure to pay special attention to those who may need a little extra TLC to get through this. Stay safe, and most of all, stay focused on the end goal.