4 Bad Business Habits We Shouldn't Fall Back on Post-Lockdown


Adam MiddletonBusiness Development Manager for Takeaway Packaging

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Due to new social distancing restrictions, many businesses are asking their team to work from home. For many of us, absence has made the heart grow stronger, helping us to be more empathetic and understanding of our coworkers. Leaders are also refraining from international business travel, significantly decreasing airline activity. These things are quietly benefiting the environment as well as our smaller workplace environments. With this in mind, should we really aim to spring back to "normal" when this is all over?

Article 4 Minutes
4 Bad Business Habits We Shouldn't Fall Back on Post-Lockdown

While we’ll all embrace the chance to natter about the weekend with our desk buddies, sit in a meeting without fear of a faulty connection and regain an element of control by having our team under one roof, there are other habits we shouldn’t rush to recover.

In this article, we cover four business habits we should keep post-coronavirus.

1. Ignoring work-from-home requests

From time to time, we might have received requests from forward-thinking workers to work from home either for family, financial, or other personal reasons. Fear of the unknown might have deterred us from saying yes, even if granting some flexibility would have been for the greater good.

Now we’ve all been forced to face our worst fears, we’ve realized they aren’t so bad.

Managing a remote team certainly has its teething period with worries of workers underperforming or overexerting themselves in a foreign work environment. Getting to grips with technology can also pose problems. Yet, when businesses find their feet with remote work, they often find it hard to look past its benefits. Experienced remote workers are happier and choose to stay in jobs for longer as a result.

So, instead of dismissing a work-from-home request because it’s easier to say no than create a new workplace policy, leaders might reconsider their stance on having happier workers at home than weary, worried workers in the workplace.

2. Mindless corporate consumption

Staffroom fridges stacked high with snacks, heaps of plastic from packages or single-use water bottles, and leftover decorations from every office holiday, birthday, and any other occasion that was celebrated. These are all items we’ve stopped purchasing, skirting around, and cleaning up.

Constant corporate consumption has become more apparent to us now we’ve broken the cycle.

Maybe we’ve been forced to cancel our recurring orders of snacks, watercooler refills, and tissues. Perhaps we’ve been surprised by how much we’ve saved by not buying birthday cakes. Whatever shock moment you’ve experienced, you’ll know now is the time to say: enough is enough. Streamlining snack cupboards, budgeting for birthdays, and making a conscious effort to buy team takeaways with sustainable packaging are all ways to cut your corporate consumption without removing every ounce of joy from the workplace.

3. Insignificant small talk

We’re not sure if we’ll ever stop talking about the weather. After all, complaining about the week’s forecast is something we all have in common and serves as an easy way to break the ice. However, the volume of small talk in the office will surely decrease after COVID-19 to ensure our communications with coworkers are more meaningful.

While we once might have found it acceptable to ask someone how they’re doing or what they got up to at the weekend just to be polite, we’ll now sit and listen as we have been doing during lockdown each time we ask about someone’s wellbeing.

To show coworkers that we still care for each other after the threat of coronavirus has gone, we might think to ask more personal, less empty, questions that relate to a previous conversation. Or, we’ll take the time to listen to the answers being given to generic questions, to ask follow-up questions, and gain a better understanding of how everybody’s feeling. Sure, there are benefits and pitfalls to personal relationships in the workplace. But the good stuff outweighs the bad, ensuring your office is alive with true team spirit, with every staff member supported.

4. Perfect professionalism

Pressed suit shirts and pants, handshakes at every meeting, and meticulously prepped presentation cards are the face of modern business. These characteristics can make businesspeople seem intimidating, unrelatable, and cold.

Those in junior roles are often too critical of their own mistakes by thinking that their seniors never make them. Middle managers show incredible competitiveness and very little care for their equals, forgetting they too have a personal life. At the very tip of the organizational hierarchy, bosses buckle under the pressure, overexert themselves, and neglect other areas of their life to keep up the facade.

Of course, the inability to shake hands, escape to less chaotic, more clinical surroundings, and wholeheartedly separate your personal life from your work has made business feel more human. So what if you’re wearing loungewear from the waist downwards? It’s more comfortable and productive that way. Accepting our human-ness has made the business world more habitable.

Parents now have a little extra leeway to attend meetings a few minutes late or catch the recording if they’re dealing with more urgent priorities. Suddenly, we understand that not everyone fits into a nine-to-five box — allowing people to be early birds or night owls, as long as they get the job done. Small mistakes aren’t punished, tutted at, or met with eye rolls; instead, they’re often fixed within seconds, overlooked, or cause a conversation about additional support and training. The result? A happier, healthier workplace for everyone.

Adam Middleton

Adam Middleton became the Business Development Manager for Takeaway Packaging after a varied career in PR, shipping and marketing within the packing industry. With a Bachelor’s degree in Human Geography and a Masters in International Marketing, Adam has a keen interest in the environmental impact of consumerism.


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