Tired of wearing mask? I hear you.
I was talking to a colleague from Australia last week.
She said that in her country, they are required to wear mask everywhere at a 250+ rate of new infections a day. While I said, I was driving by a lake last week for a presentation, people are enjoying every inch of the beach space. No mask at all.
There is a dissonance between what the public health authorities are asking everyone to do and what people are doing otherwise. People go to the beaches, enjoy public events and restaurants, avail of health services, and outdoor sports and recreations, like they used to.
The fatigue in keeping the rules of social distancing and wearing masks is a social phenomenon. There is a certain limit to how far the public can keep up with restrictions in the name of collective public safety, health, and well-being. The social deviance is a response to this but there are deeper factors at play.
It is beginning to show that individual registers to risks and rewards are very different and sometimes, antithetical to the establishment. In fact, I would surmise that instead of being able to curb out deviant behaviors through fines and penalties, it will rise up as force to reckon with.
How much of what is perceived are purveyors of real risks? How much is pure fluff and can be dismissed as overreaction?
Perception is reality. Perception is the only real thing.
How do you manage remote teams and ensure that productivity and quality work are guaranteed?
There many ways to do that:
1. Communicate the outcomes needed to be produced on a weekly basis. Know what each of the staff will be delivering and give them the timeline to accomplish those.
2. Make regular check-ins to see how they are doing. Some would be sick and will be self-isolating and some will not be able to work at all due to childcare issues and other reasons.
3. Get a standby roster of contract staff that you can use in emergency situations. Let me them know that you might need them to complete a certain task, or a project that needs their expertise and skills on a short-term basis.
4. Confine your communication to a few emails per day. Too many communications can make them feel overwhelmed as a single email can have several agenda on it.
5. Create a tier of managers that staff can communicate on a regular basis. Even yourself can fall sick and not be available for days. Have a list of other people to connect with so that information flows smoothly.
6. Empower them to make decisions at their level. Give them permission to make some mistakes as things are fluid and that today could be different from yesterday and the day before. Scheduling can be done online and let people know what's the best time to for the online meet.
7. Take time to celebrate remote staffs' achievement by giving them regular feedback about their work. If they are doing well, let them know. If they are struggling, let them know you are available to support them. Remote work is tough and the first few weeks could be slow crawl for some.
I hope these are helpful. Stay healthy!
I don't know who started this in the provinces but travelling outside of the Canadian province which you are based on, can get you to be quarantined for 14 days too not just for international flights.
This policy is part of the 'overabundance of caution' that propels everyone to do the self-isolation without feeling the symptoms from the COVID-19 virus. They said that the symptoms can surface within 4-5 days after travelling and it is prudent to stay at home within those days.
The part that struck me the most was the information being peddled around that children can supposedly 'carriers' of the virus without them getting sick or feeling sick. How can one determine that unless the child has been tested officially? How can one say that the child can be a carrier so social distancing is no longer an option but a must? What is the best scientific evidence behind this assertion?
Testings are those who are considered vulnerable, have history of international flights to areas where the virus is prevalent or exhibiting symptoms of the disease. For regular folks who are not feeling it, it is just best to do social distancing and refrain from going to crowded places where exposure is high. With this, only through testing can you officially know that you are positive or negative.
People are dying with regular flu, other communicable diseases, and illness from cancers, hyper-tension, lungs, and liver complications. These diseases are the underlying causes of deaths from COVID-19 where seniors, small children, and people with complicated health issues are the most vulnerable.
We cannot be too blind and ignorant to follow anything that is said on the media or told by our relations. We have to question the premise and see if it fits the overall evidence paradigm presented to us by the public health authorities.
We cannot allow paranoia to creep into our strategies to curb out the spread of the virus. We should stop hoarding and stop panic buying so that those who are in real need can get their supplies without hassle.
The ugly head of division, hatred, and exclusion, and anti-Chinese statements are coming out now and we need to put a stop to these fear-based reactions.
You cannot lead from a fear-based perspective.
I am aghast at those people who refuse to do remote work or online as opposed to showing up in person and being physically present. With the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have been forced to look at their online/remote work capability and found themselves ill-prepared and inadequate.
The remote infrastructure has become more simplified and easy to use than in the last 15 years when the technology is starting to catch up with a globalized work environment. Nowadays, there are many providers, platforms, and capacities already built into the system, including task platforms that help teams accomplish projects across time zones and organizational mandates.
The beauty of this set-up is that people needed to be comfortable using the remote technology and know that it takes practice to be better at it. It's like using the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for the first time. There is a sense of trepidation and fear of making mistakes along the way. But it is also part of expanding the repertoire of delivery mechanisms that organizations should have to be able to serve their business interests.
In the long run, more people will have the fuller access and comfort in using remote and online technologies to run organizations, deliver services, and strengthen customer relationships. This crisis has led us to understand that not all remote or online would be subpar and of little quality, but could be thoroughly enhanced to the best of our resources so that whether in crisis or non-crisis moments, we are getting ahead in our progress and not going back to earlier generations when showing up and meeting up meant being in one time and place.
This online/remote work is becoming a norm not a crisis-induced action.
Are you ready for it?
The recent train blockade by protesters is incredibly concerning. Hundreds will be potentially laid off as a result of this impasse.
You can extend an invitation to an open and sincere dialogue but the other party has to be able to lay down their swords and come to the table to talk. We call it acting in 'good faith' when parties trust each other to commit to agreeing with the rules of engagement and begin to acknowledge that resorting to violence is the far least alternative to achieving their desired outcomes.
It will just prolong the conflict and leave it in a protracted level where no parties gain substantially from the zero-sum game. This is what's happening with the pipeline issue. It has dragged on for years, resulting in billions of dollars of missed opportunities for the economy and the country.
Despite the well-meaning politicians and leaders trying to mediate this conflict, there seems to be no resolution in sight yet. The recent court ruling only demonstrates the wide disparity between what is observed and what is being said in the media.
Words are cheap.
Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in China with 11 million people is in lock down. The death toll has risen more and the level of infections has spread not just to China but to other countries, where their nationals have visited the county and other places where infections have been reported.
We will never know the extent of the epidemic as China controls all parts of the country and even castigated the doctor who warned about the epidemic that later on died from the infection. This behavior from China is not going to be constructive in getting down to the root cause of the virus, getting help from experts and other parties that can lend scientific and technical support, and coordination when other countries want their nationals to be lifted out of China and other places under close monitoring.
When disaster strikes, information is a 'life and death' criterion. Information becomes critical in saving lives, alerting other people about dangers and hazards, asking for life-saving help, and appealing for people's participation and unity to rally behind those in need. We need information for preparedness, for collaboration, for greater awareness of the problem. One country's problem becomes a global concern and everyone can contribute to alleviating further suffering.
A humanitarian expert that I talked with recently said that China has asked them to leave and that through the grapevine, there are more deaths underreported. I also heard that China is asking for help behind closed doors.
Whether this is true or not, the secrecy policy aggravates the situation, when misinformation is allowed to spread leading to the pandemic of fear and public unrest. This same fear is what makes the Chinese government reluctant to accept that there was a problem, reneging on their duty to protect and prepare their citizens, and seeking to contain and stabilize, but not to prevent its future occurrence.