My Business Got COVID

February 23, 2021

Art Koch’s Profit Chain® Series
Volume 1 | Number 2 | February 2021

I’m not telling you that any of our team members or I got COVID. My argument here is that the business got COVID.

More and more, I’m discussing the current situation with my client’s leadership and witnessing the long-term effects of having their team members working remotely.

Before the pandemic, businesses were functioning relatively well. They had daily visual management meetings where opportunities received rapid responses from highly engaged associates, and issues could be swiftly escalated when necessary.

During the last few weeks, I re-engaged with a past client. Speaking with three of their leadership team members, they voiced the same concerns and comments as my other clients, that COVID remote work is negatively impacting their productivity and teamwork.


When I sat through Team and Zoom meetings with my other clients, the parallels to my re-engaged client’s experiences were striking:

  1. Individuals often losing internet connection
  2. Loss of focus due to many distractions from pets, children, spouses, and parents
  3. Little to no use of cameras, resulting in a loss of community
  4. Meeting fatigue. Too many back-to-back meetings
  5. Loss of visual KPI structure.

Because associates are remote, they are not talking with one another during coffee breaks, lunches, or trips to the restroom. Additionally, most businesses lose their visual daily management processes by holding remote meetings. With the diminished capacity to keep operations in check using visible KPIs, organizations are jumping from one firefight to the next. These businesses are feeling the negative impact of losing standard business processes and communication.

Here are five simple solutions that address these challenges:

  1. Insist that team members turn on their cameras during meetings. This simple solution will increase the sense of community and communication between colleagues. Just seeing your co-workers and making eye contact with them will increase the focus on the subject at hand and pay significant dividends.
  2. Have all leaders start each day with a standing 15-minute meeting. Discuss successes from yesterday, what must be done for today and tomorrow to be successful, and review critical KPIs.
  3. During the first 5 minutes of all meetings, allow time for associates to socialize.
  4. Create break-out rooms for associates from similar teams to take their breaks and lunches together.
  5. Create community break-out rooms for cross-functional teams to collaborate.

I’m confident that a more stable work environment can be established once these solutions are instituted. Demonstrating this level of responsiveness to the associates’ challenges will create a sense of hope and optimism that leaders are connected to their issues and are working toward solutions that benefit the entire organization.