Lessons learned from the Covid-19 lockdown

Productivity consultant Moira Dunne takes a look at the lessons learned from the Covid-19 lockdown and how business should look to operate going forward.

As the Covid-19 restrictions start to ease in Ireland, many businesses are reopening. The lockdown prompted huge changes for most businesses as they began to trade online. Businesses owners had to pivot and adapt to survive.

While the priority now is getting back to business, it is useful to take a moment to reflect on what you can learn from your lockdown experience.

Lockdown learnings

Remote working was probably the biggest change for many teams. It placed a spotlight on how teams interact and how information flows within a business. The enforced changes improved how some teams operate and highlighted how processes could be streamlined.

It is important not to automatically return to the status quo of work life pre-Covid-19. There is an opportunity for business owners to fix problems and make some adjustments.

Invite your team to take part in this lockdown review. Their insights and experiences may be different to yours so their input will be valuable. It is also important to understand how they each responded to the lockdown experience.  

1.    What did we change?

Ask the team to review the changes within the business. The big things are obvious, like remote working and doing business online. But there may have been other changes too. Did you or your managers do any of the following?

  • Become more decisive
  • Set clear priorities
  • Think about the strategic direction of the business
  • Take more time to connect with your team
  • Trust your team to perform
  • Change how the work was planned
  • Consider the wellbeing of your employees

The Covid-19 crisis allowed many business owners take more time to interact and connect with their employees. Working remotely required an adjustment in management style as employees were no longer visible in the workplace. Leaders had to trust and empower their employees who in turn stepped up to take on more responsibility.

2.    What worked well?

Increased employee engagement can have a positive impact on productivity and performance within the business. As a business owner you will want to maintain this improvement. Ask the team what changes worked well and why.

Other areas to review include: any changes to the workflow, any new systems or applications used for managing the work, changes to how the team interacted with each other. Did they streamline any of the business processes?

3.    What did we learn?

Decide as a team which changes should be maintained going forward. This review can help identify:

  • The benefit of clearer communication
  • The power of uninterrupted time to get work done
  • New ways of managing the workflow

4.    Ideas for the future

Take the lockdown learnings and be prepared to change how things were done in the past. Maintain the benefits of flexible working if the business can sustain it. Continue to trust and empower your team when they return to the office. Try to give everyone some time to work alone and get things done, even when the team returns to the office.

Lessons learned from Covid-19 lockdown

Lockdown challenged the normal way of working for most businesses. A new way has emerged. Use your lockdown learnings to move forward strategically with a better version of your business and an empowered productive team.

Written by productivity consultant Moira Dunne, founder and director of beproductive.ie.

Published: 9 July, 2020