Finding A New Normal
As the world begins to catch its breath and realizes that we are faced with a new reality, we are starting to acknowledge that this new normal maybe with us for a while which is both upsetting, daunting, and frankly scary for many. As we take the next steps in this new normal it is important that we begin to reframe this new reality both from a perspective of work and even our basic understanding of human behavior. When defining ‘invisible’ disabilities this usually refers to areas of the human experience that are hidden from view such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks to deeper mental health issues that greatly impact one’s daily life such as bipolar and borderline personality disorders. In this time of COVID-19, the idea of ‘invisible’ disabilities is no longer the right terminology, in fact millions of people are coping with numerous mental health issues impacting the quality of their daily lives both personally and professionally in profound ways. Invisible disabilities can longer be in the shadows but must be seen and dealt with exactly for what they are, nuanced and complex, and offer a greater understanding that there is not a one size fits all solution.
If there is a silver lining in this horrible period of human history it maybe that going forward, organizational leadership has a better understanding of the importance that mental health plays in the future of work. In this new age where tele-work has been the only option for both employers and employees, what comes along with this is a whole new set of challenges when considering the health and wellbeing of an organization to run more efficiently and effectively.
If organizations are going to be more efficient and effective in this new era of tele-work, it is important that they ask themselves some critical questions going forward:
1. What Are The Most Essential Elements In Defining A Healthy Corporate Culture In the Age of Tele-Work?
2. How Will Your Organization Create An Infrastructure to Assist Remote Workers In Cultivating A Stronger Mental/Physical Health Strategy?
3. How Can Organizations Define More Effective Talent Management Strategies for Employees with Disabilities/Older Workers as A Critical Value Add In the Emerging Tele-work Evolution?
The Future Of Work
As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the globe, it is important to remember that human beings are creative and adaptable. Despite the fear of the unknown which at this moment is permeating throughout our lives we will get to a point when life will get back to some sense of normalcy and the world will open again. However, it is important in this transition that we rethink how we want the world to operate going forward. Corporate leaders play a crucial role not only in the future of work, but how we as species in what journalist Thomas Friedman defines as a ‘flat world’ will define what the future of work will look like and how it will see inclusion as a vital step in the next wave of business ingenuity.
Workers Dealing Their Own ‘Invisible’ Disabilities In The Era of COVID-19
As we embark in this new age of remote work it is critically important not to put all the responsibility on corporate leadership. Employees must take accountability of their own mental health needs in order to deal with the challenges ahead and reframe their own understanding of work-life balance. In the wake of COVID-19 we are faced with a question that many social scientists, corporate leaders, and others have been grappling with for some time. It is the question of can the traditional five-day work week be tenable in the digital age? If people are working remotely and being productive, should a new pragmatic model of work need to be explored? While this deserves a longer and more thoughtful explanation, for the sake of this column it is important that we look at one particular aspect. As we are realizing, COVID-19 has made organizations begin to rethink everything in how they articulate their work process. Employees are now forced to grapple with understanding their own rhythm and pacing and define what is healthy for them. For those employees that have dealt with mental health or invisible disabilities this can often be more of a challenge when the traditional structure and pace of work has been taken away. As the writer of this column who also happens to be a psychotherapist, it is important that we delve deeper into exploring tactics and strategies to deal these extenuating circumstances but offer a glimpse into what lies beyond. In the coming weeks Mindset Matters will take a deeper dive into these very issues to help readers discover answers to some of these challenges that await.