As the pandemic runs its course, and we continue to work from home surrounded by our family (human, furry or virtual) isolating ourselves to protect those at risk, Kit Cox, CEO of Enate, talks from his own self-isolation about the future of work and what our duties are over the coming months.
Welcome to the future of work. It’s not quite what we thought it would be, is it? Like many of you, I’m working from home within the confines of a Cox family isolation - and I feel very lucky to have a garden to be honest. Like most people up and down the country, we are simultaneously enjoying, and being frustrated with, each other’s company, while trying to maintain some sort of work ‘normality’.
‘Normal’ has absolutely been turned upside down.
There are several different things going through my brain during this time.
We’re all thinking about family. The hardest part of this pandemic is the loss of human interaction: you can’t see your friends, you can’t see your family (other than those you’re locked away with of course). It’s tough not seeing your friends or having your extended family close to you during this time. Particularly when you consider that, throughout social history, when it comes to times of need, we have always come together, and that generally means we physically come together. So, I’m thinking about family and those I hold closest during this time. The upside is that I do get spend more time with my children - and I’ve learned to appreciate primary school teachers far more than I have ever done before!
You also think about business. What’s happening with business and other businesses like ours?
I think about Enate in terms of how we make sure we’re still working, and how we keep our people safe. It was an easy call to make early-on to support the entire Enate team working from home.
I also think about our other duties as a business.
It is our duty to keep the wheels of the world turning; our customers pay us, so we pay our staff, so our staff pay the people and businesses they rely on. And we’ve got to keep that pumping. We keep paying our team, so they keep paying their team. Even if you’re not relying on them anymore, still pay them. Pay your childminder, pay the people you come to rely on each day, save something up for the café you would normally be buying your coffee from each morning. Think about that as part of your duty.
The other part of this duty is around competition, which now goes completely out the window. Competition is the absolute antithesis of what we need right now. Collaboration and cooperation, not competition, is the only way forward.
We are looking at significant problems which need solving at incredible pace. It it is our duty to keep rules that matter - and break ones that don’t. Nobody wants to waste time to explaining to somebody that they can’t get the server in the medics’ department talking to a particular laptop because somebody hasn’t filled out form Z13. ‘I’m just following protocol’ is going to be our version of ‘I was just following orders’ to do the wrong thing. So, figure out what counts, just ‘do stuff’, if you need to ask for forgiveness, fine, just do the right thing. Think hard. But do the right thing.
It’s important to understand where we can help, but it is also our duty to butt out where we can’t help. Don’t pretend to be helping, or tinker around the edges, either really help, or butt out and let the people that ‘can’, ‘do’.
My kids had an interesting response when I asked them what they thought about COVID-19. ‘Stupid’, was the answer, ‘because it doesn’t let me see my friends’, which is the simplest but biggest message of all: we have to stay apart to stick together.
Take care of yourselves,
If you feel we can help, get in touch with a member of the team via enate.net.