By Martin Perry, consultant at Elite Performance Lifestyle

There is no doubt that we find ourselves in unprecedented times; COVID-19 has shut down the world. Businesses have been told to close, employees to work from home, markets are volatile, and we have no idea when this will end.

Businesses, to continue to operate successfully in this uncertainty, will need to adapt to these new circumstances. This is easier said than done.

As the UK doubles down on its efforts to slow the spread of Coronavirus, businesses are urged to enable their staff to work from home. This. in itself, poses problems and creates anxiety for both the employer and the employees. Whilst employers will be nervous about productivity, employees may be nervous about working in isolation. When not used to this environment, it can prove to be psychologically challenging; especially in the confines of one’s home where there may be issues with home-schooling or caring for an elderly or sick relative.

As a sports psychologist, I often deal with players and managers facing a variety of challenges. There is much that business can learn from sports people’s ability to focus their mindsets to adapt to any situation.

To help you and your colleagues through these trying times, I have outlined my top tips for you:

  1. Quickly adapting to the new normal is essential for one’s wellbeing. That involves accepting the situation as it is as soon as possible. Remaining in denial will often prove stressful.
  2. One needs to be practical with what the new circumstances require. Some football players flourished behind closed doors, some struggled. Those who flourished believed that they were going to be the ‘best player behind closed doors,’ and then they worked towards that belief.
  3. Acknowledge quickly that the environment is different. What can be done to positively embrace this new environment? There have been examples of people being less formal in meetings. Use anything that may help you and your colleagues.
  4. Try to keep existing routines as close to the norm as possible. Encourage virtual lunch dates with colleagues, if the workplace has a book group ensure that is continued online. So much connection remains possible, even when we’re physically constrained.
Do not forget that your employees and co-workers are working in a confined area with their families around. This can be stressful so ensure that you are mindful to their needs. Encourage communication and acknowledge that some may be home-schooling at the same time adding extra stress and burden to an already stressful situation