Published October 26, 2020
How to stay positive as a business owner during COVID-19
The Covid-19 outbreak has affected everyone in many different ways and if you’re a business owner or leader within an organisation you know all too well the stress it has encompassed. Not only has it brought financial uncertainty but you also have the stress of retaining and supporting your employees. Unemployment, changes in working environments and reduced revenue are all stressors that seem to be here for the long run. 80% of the UK small to medium business owners say the pandemic has caused their revenue to decline. It’s not easy to stay positive during this time, after all, we’re all in a situation that we’ve never experienced before and that can bring with it anxiety and the fear of what could be ahead of us. However, there are a few practises you can adopt in order to stay positive and motivated during this stressful time. Whether you own a business, are a business leader or an employee these tips will help you take one day at a time, managing not only your work life but also taking care of your wellbeing.
Recognise the situation and focus on adapting
The Covid-19 pandemic has been with us for a number of months now and while many of us have adapted to the “new normal” the situation is ongoing and with a potential rise in Coronavirus cases to come we need to continue to adapt. It can be easy to almost admit defeat and wallow in the situation but in business, this simply isn’t an option. You must acknowledge any challenges you have come up against, assess them and create an action plan in order to adapt to these. Your action plan doesn’t have to be long term. In this unpredictable climate setting short term goals can be valuable and will make you more adaptable should things change suddenly. In times like these surround yourself with people that can assist you in making these decisions promptly and effectively. Think about who you trust within your business to support you and your employees in an effective way.
Engage in professional development
While this time has brought stress and the need to adapt to changes in working environments (e.g. working from home, reduced hours etc.) this may mean you may have more free time. The lack of a commute could leave you with an extra hour or so to yourself. Use this time to engage in professional development to broaden your mind and develop your existing skills set. You can find out more about engaging in professional development during the pandemic here.
It’s worth noting that putting unnecessary pressure on yourself during this time can be counterproductive. Do what you can, whether that’s listening to a podcast on your lunch break or reading a few chapters of a book before bedtime. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Keep lines of communication open with your colleagues and employees
If you’re a business leader there’s no doubt that your employees will be coming to you or your wider leadership team with questions and queries during this time. It’s vital you keep lines of communication open, not only for your employees but also to maintain a strong support network for yourself and your team. Ensure you make time to catch up with your colleagues over video calls to keep up to date. Working from home can get lonely so stay connected.
Make use of your online network
There is no doubt that you’re not alone in experiencing the stressors that Covid-19 has created. Many business professionals will be feeling the effects so its a good time to make use of your LinkedIn connections and any business relationships you have formed. Start a conversation on LinkedIn by creating a post about the struggles you’re facing and invite others to share their experiences. This will create a great online support network and reinforce the fact that you are not alone in your struggles.
Keep track of your wins, be them big or small
With all the negative effects of COVID, we need to focus on the positives within our personal and professional lives. Write down any little wins you have within your business and share them with the wider team. This could be a project being completed ahead of schedule, positive feedback from a client or an employee achievement. Recognising these positive moments will keep you and everyone in your business motivated. Your employees and team members will also appreciate the recognition in this difficult time which will boost morale.
Maintain a good work/life balance
You’ve probably heard many people say that maintaining a good work/life balance is crucial, especially when working from home, but what does this actually look like? Simply start by planning out your day, setting times for when work starts and stops giving yourself a decent lunch break, and a few smaller breaks throughout the day if you can. If possible set up a designated working space within your home free of distractions. If you have an office use that and don’t be tempted to slump on the sofa with your laptop. If you don’t have an office set aside space in your home where you can step up your laptop or PC in a comfortable spot away from where you like to relax in the evenings. This will help you keep your work and home life separate.
In the evenings, or during your downtime, engage in activities that make you happy and relax you. This could be a workout, cooking, seeing friends or family or simply watching your favourite tv series. It’s important that you take time to focus on yourself and what makes you happy.
Remember, you’re only human. You’re dealing with a stressful and completely new situation. Take time to look after yourself, your team and your employees. These tips can be the antidote to blocking out negative messaging and give you the determination to drive your business forward.