We’ve all been impacted in one way or another during this pandemic, and the company I work for has been no exception. Although our company certainly recognizes that it is a privilege to remain open during this time and are very grateful for it, many sacrifices and changes have been made to keep us afloat.
As a regular employee at a small business, I’ll admit I’ve been feeling vulnerable in my position and afraid for the future. Circumstances are constantly changing and each day feels shrouded in a blanket of uncertainty. But I believe that if we share our experiences, it can help others in the same boat feel less alone.
Everything Has Changed
The week before Michigan’s stay-at-home order, I continued my usual routine of working at the office. I was abiding by the 6-foot social distancing recommendation and skipping any extra stops between work and home. As the week went on, everyone’s fears began mounting (with good reason).
Our office building quickly turned into a ghost town as the executive team scrambled to equip the entire staff with what they needed to work from home. Before the pandemic, we’d normally have about 50 employees in the office. On my last day before going remote, the office was eerily quiet and our head count was down to 12.
The Ugly Reality
As more and more states received orders to stay home, business went south fast. Many of our clients have had to pull back from our services due to their own lack of business.
We’ve managed to keep a lot of our team, but the sad truth is that several of my coworkers had to be laid off. Our CEO has been forgoing his own pay until further notice. Salaries and hours have been cut pretty much across the board (including my own).
Some days I feel as though I’m being crushed by the weight of my anxiety. But on those days, I try to remind myself of everything there is to be thankful for.
The Silver Lining
Despite having all sense of normalcy thrown out the window, I’ve really appreciated that the leaders at my company have been approaching this entire situation with transparency. They’ve made some tough calls in order to do what’s best for our team and have kept us in the loop every step of the way.
Receiving daily updates about where we’re at and what steps we’re taking has helped me prepare for any possible new developments rather than feeling blindsided.
Because of our management’s honesty, respect, and perseverance, the entire team has been inspired to do their very best to adapt to the circumstances. We’ve realized that if we’re going to make it through this, we need to lean on each other more than ever.
For Now, We’re Taking Each Day One Step at a Time
At this point we’re finding alternative ways to be of service to our clients, even to those who are currently unable to provide financial compensation. Team members are stepping out of their comfort zones by doing work in areas outside of their respective departments.
We’re utilizing all of our communication technology to stay on the same page with work. We’re holding “coffee break meetups” via video chat to curb feelings of loneliness. And my personal favorite, the team continues to share jokes and give shout outs for exceptional work on our company-wide messaging platform to keep spirits high.
Although we are still stuck in the thick of things, I am incredibly proud that we’ve made it this far and have hope that we will come out on the other side stronger than ever.
What’s YOUR experience?
The more we open up about our stories, the more we can grow together. How has the crisis gone for your business? What are your challenges and successes? Leave us a comment on LinkedIn – we’d love to hear your story!