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With the COVID restrictions in England having been lifted, employers and employees are making difficult decisions about a gradual return to the workplace.  Now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure we’re thinking clearly, responding rationally and making the right decisions for the business and the people who work within it.

The pandemic has forced us all to live in a brave new world. Energy levels and personal resilience levels have gradually ebbed away and it’s important for leaders to recognise the physical and emotional changes this causes. As we get tired, we become more reactive and think in the short term. This can have a huge impact when pragmatic, strategic decisions are needed.

In Thriving in Uncertainty by Dr Rob Archer and Alex Jamieson, they look at how to make good decisions in uncertain times. A brilliantly simple, but hugely effective technique is to ‘Take 5’ when making a decision.  For every important decision, they recommend asking yourself “Do I need to make this decision now? If you are put on the spot, ask if you can come back with a more considered view later, and give a specific time”.  In addition, they espouse the use of the HALT acronym. “do not make a decision if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Instead change the context” before you make that decision.

Having an awareness of our own behaviours and an awareness of the mental health impact of the pandemic on everyone – from executive boards down to shop floor workers – is critical in helping us effectively navigate this next stage of our Brave New World.