Trevor Noah spoke at the Workhuman Livestream event this week about the struggles of working from home and what the coronavirus pandemic can teach us.
Comedian and host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah said there is a fine balance between work life and home life that people need to remember during the time of coronavirus, with so many people now working from home.
Noah was speaking at Workhuman’s Livestream event earlier this week (12 May), which took place in lieu of the company’s annual in-person HR conference.
“When I started, I thought I could work everywhere, and then I realised the problem with that was that my work was now everywhere,” said Noah.
“I think that’s something that people are really going to take for granted during this period. Yes, you get to work from home, but be careful that work doesn’t become your home and your home doesn’t become work.”
He said being able to leave work is so important because it helps your mind refresh and helps you to relax so that you can go back into work energised. “I really think it’s nice to have that disconnect and so, for me, [it’s] finding a space where I can say, this is it, this is going to be where I work and then I get to leave this space. I don’t go into it when I’m not working and it provides me with the sanity that I need to break between work and living my life.”
Noah was interviewed by Workhuman CEO Eric Mosley, who asked him what he believes we can learn from the current situation.
“I think coronavirus has exposed a lot of the things that people have tried to push to the wayside for a long time. Coronavirus has exposed the fragility of people’s lives, especially when they live in places where there is rampant income inequality,” Noah said.
“As much as people will love capitalism, you can’t deny that capitalism can definitely be improved or there are aspects of it that aren’t doing that well when people cannot survive one month of not having a salary.”
The dangers of delayed trauma
The Workhuman Livestream also featured author and Ted Talk speaker Simon Sinek, who spoke about how a crisis can be “a great revealer of how someone can operate” under stressful situations.
“The people who have successfully stayed in the shadows and done no work and got way with it, all of a sudden we can see them all, and there are others that we didn’t think they had it in them and they are rising up and taking the reins and they are pivoting.”
Sinek also said that a good company culture will be crucial at times like this. “[In] a weak culture, people will hunker down and protect themselves. [In] a strong culture, people will show up and take risks and take care of each other,” he said.
‘In a strong company culture, people will show up and take risks and take care of each other’
– SIMON SINEK
But while there can be plenty of support within good work environments, Sinek still spoke about the dangers of delayed trauma. “I’ve been in mission-focus since this happened,” he said. “I called a friend of mine who’s in the military and sort of jokingly asked, ‘I wonder when it’s all going to hit me?’, and he actually gave me a warning.
“There’s no such thing as compartmentalising trauma, there’s no such thing as compartmentalising your emotions, you have to deal with it. All of us who are in go-mode, who are in mission-focus mode, I want to just send out a reminder and a warning to everybody that we will have to deal with this trauma at some point and it might be months after things return to normal.”
Sinek said that for those who have been in mission-focus mode, they might have a delayed response and find themselves feeling despondent, lazy and short-tempered after this is all over. “It’s OK, it’s normal,” he said.
He added it’s important for those people to ask for help and not try to deal with it alone, and that it’s equally important for others to recognise this. “If you see that happening to someone you love, don’t say to them, ‘What’s your problem? Everything’s fine now, why are you acting out?’ It’s because they haven’t processed the trauma from before.”
New engagement tool
During the event, Mosley also announced Workhuman’s latest employee engagement tool, Moodtracker, which will be free for every company to use. “You will never be upsold, never have annoying upgrade screens, no nagging messages or advertising. It is free forever,” he said.
Mosley said the tool is not just another engagement survey. “Moodtracker is designed specifically for HR. It’s more advanced, it’s more modern, yet HR and business leaders with little to no experience of using employee survey tools will benefit,” he said. “You get to leverage science without the scientists because the data science is built right in.”
Moodtracker will give companies an unlimited number of surveys for an unlimited number of employees and it includes a resilience survey, a human-centred survey, and a diversity and inclusion survey. “You can see how your company stacks up against millions of companies around the world,” said Mosley.
While Moodtracker is free for all companies forever, Mosley also that announced two other Workhuman tools, Conversations and Life Events, have been made free until March 2021.
Trevor Noah. Image: © Paul Smith/Featureflash/Depositphotos