The past few months have been incredibly painful for far too many families around the world. The health crisis itself and its impact on households have taken a terrible toll on so many.
Yet, there have been some amazing bright spots too. At the end of another long week, I’d like to focus on the bright side of the road.
With my job, I spend more time than I would care to admit on airplanes and staying in business hotels so I can meet face-to-face with colleagues, customers, and investors. As a battle-hardened business traveller, jet lag doesn’t even affect me anymore – but being away from my wife and kids does. I’ve missed more soccer games and parent-teacher interviews than any parent should. For the past two or three weeks, I’ve been working from home. And I’ve learned that working from home – when kids are at home – has its challenges. But it’s been great too. I’m pretty sure I’ve had more consecutive dinners with the whole family than I’ve had since I was a kid myself.
If there’s an early lesson from this crisis, it is that “we’re all in this together”. That applies to the world at large and to the workplace. Typically, internal meetings at many organisations start with an agenda and get down to business pretty quickly. During the past few weeks, there has a been a sea change. Now, there’s always friendly warm banter at the beginning and some light-hearted moments throughout, and everyone is truly “present”.
Ceridian prides itself in being a highly innovative company. We look for this attribute when we hire, and we are constantly trying to foster it at work. Everyone is digging deep – really deep – while doing work-life double duty these days. Yet, people are coming up with amazing ideas for everything from new add-ons to Dayforce that will help our customers and their employees during COVID-19 to creating a virtual Ceridian Kids Club as a way of providing a little entertainment for the children of our employees (and a little relief for hardworking moms and dads…). Virtual coffees and lunches – and even the odd after work happy hour – are popping up everywhere. These aren’t led by head office – they’re organic – led by caring people with great ideas.
There’s nothing like being cooped up inside and having your morning commute to the office reduced to a dozen steps to the kitchen table to inspire you to get outside in the fresh air and move. I’m a bit of a cycling fanatic at the best of times, but the extra time at home and the springish weather have been great motivators for me to get a few extra miles of training. And it’s been amazing to see virtual fitness challenges start up at our offices around the world. The friendly competition is great for the entire team and great for each of us individually.
We all look forward to the end of the “new normal”, but let’s hope we can all continue to embrace these wonderful unintended consequences.