How to Deal with Post-Lockdown
’The Million Dollar Question’
Andreas Karlsson, Group CEO of Sticks’n’Sushi has shared his personal experience on ‘How to manage Post-Lockdown’ during the EICOM webinar on the 1st July 2020. Operating in three different countries, namely Denmark, the United Kingdom and Germany this has been an international learning curve for the organisation and for Andreas himself. With Denmark being one of the first European countries that introduced a lockdown, Sticks’n’Sushi first faced the Danish Covid-19 regulations. As different lockdown rules have been implemented in Germany and the UK he had to cope with other challenges later on.
The Initial Lockdown Experience
Andreas considers himself lucky as his restaurants operate on a half in store/half delivery model, so the basic structure for a Digital/Off-site operation was already established. There was still a huge need for adaptation and his biggest concern has always been the safety of staff members and customers. Andreas therefore used the lockdown period to put all safety measures into place and communicate them to the teams. There is no one ‘right method’ or one guideline. Andreas has clearly been faced by various challenges and having experienced a lockdown and post-lockdown in one country does not necessarily prepare one for the others.
“We had to close down Berlin totally for over eight weeks and in the meanwhile when our Prime Minister here in the UK said, Keep Calm and wash your hands and sing Happy Birthday twice, then you’d be fine.”
Lessons learned …
One lesson that he took away from his experiences is that communication is key. Managers really need to keep in touch with their employees and customers and keep them informed about any changes. There is great insecurity not only from a customer perspective but also employees who were nervous about job security as well as the dangers of catching/spreading the virus. These front of house and hospitality staff are at the ‘front line’ in the post lockdown period and they do need time to assess the risks and adapt their workspace and services to safer standards.
Andreas understands that it’s his employees and colleagues “who keep the wheel turning”. To show his appreciation, Andreas went the extra mile by driving all the way up from Germany to Denmark for 18 hours nearly non-stop just to be with his team. As a manager or team leader, you will be faced with difficult times and also personal struggles. Their are of course worries about the economy and in turn awareness that staff members are dependent on their salaries to provide for their families. In addition, another strain can be the physical social distancing whether in the work place or when employees are forced to work from home.
How to manage your own stress level?
Like all business leaders, Andreas had to find his own method to deal with the stress and to stay positive throughout this unusual period of time. In order to not get caught up with things at home and to stay motivated he tries to stick to his ‘daily routine’.
“Go to work, even if work is at home.” He gets up early, gets dressed as if he was going into one of his restaurants and goes for a walk before he starts at the same time he would normally do.
EICOM’s post lockdown hack to share is to keep a daily routine to ensure you stay focussed. Sometimes imagination is all you need, so imagining that you are working from your office could increase your productivity and boost your mood.