The world has been in turmoil for over 18 months. Uncertainty, fear, confusion, and chaos have forced all of us to reconsider the way we live, the way we play and certainly the way we work. We have been forced to look at life through a different lens, and reconsider what we value and how we would like to continue in order to create our best future.
No different for us at Helion Africa, life as we know it has changed forever. Surprisingly, these changes have helped us embrace our ‘new normal’ to pave the way for a brighter future.
What we have discovered:
For us there is no going back! Our team loves the flexibility and so do we! Some people excel and thrive working from home, others do not. The fact that our team can choose the option that works for them has certainly had a positive impact on each individual’s work experience, on the team dynamic and the perception of the work environment as a whole.
2. Bigger is not always better
We realized that we did not need large offices, which just did not make economic sense. But not having offices at all left some of our team members feeling alone, stressed, and isolated, so this was not an option either.
It took a while for us to find the best middle ground – flexible, serviced, smaller office space. Smaller office space meant we could manage our expenses much closer and offer our staff improved facilities and access to the latest communication technology when they needed it, for as long as they needed it. The office is no longer a place you “have to go to”, but rather a place you choose to go to.
3. Creating a community based on CARE
Amidst all the external confusion, we have had the opportunity in the past few months to focus on what is important, not just for us as individuals, but also for the business. We have had the opportunity to get rid of the ‘clutter’ and get clarity on what we needed to focus on. It has been a long and winding road with many hiccups along the way. We were not immune to the chaos in the world. We endured some trauma and unforeseen losses and shocks, but despite the ups and downs we have managed to build a strong community, mostly built on CARE. Our teams are committed, knowing they are not alone, understanding we are all in this together. We will get to the other side, everything will be okay, it might not happen exactly the way we were expecting it to, but there is hope for the future. We acknowledge things have changed and to be honest some of these changes have been long overdue.
Whilst embracing technology and change we also realized not all interaction should be done virtually, even if it could be. One such interaction is our team coaching session at the start of each week. We start the week as a team with a coaching session where we connect and check in. Starting the week focusing on CARE principles is something we always spoke about but never actually did. Before the pandemic it was on our “should do list”. It has now become the way we start our work week with a feeling of belonging and CARE.
Research has shown flexibility and adaptability to be crucial for a successful work environment in times of uncertainty, and we agree. Human beings are social beings, we are made to connect. The pandemic afforded us the possibility to re-look at the way we do things. To allow for more flexibility, to connect and adapt, helping us to build a team that is supported, CARED for, and more committed than ever before.
By Ronelle van Rensburg, Helion Research