The COVID-19 pandemic set in motion one of the most abrupt disruptions in decades, leaving many organisations reeling with uncertainty. When we made the move to working remotely it was a challenge for our team. Face-to-face interaction was replaced with virtual meetings. We missed the energy that comes from engaging with others in the workplace.

We were fortunate that Tarsus Distribution was able to provide the means for employees to work from home thanks to a rapid rollout of the required technology. However, technology does not take away the need to manage people in an empathetic way, particularly when it comes to issues like conflict resolution.

The power of dignity

The crisis created an opportunity and requirement to apply soft skills in business. What became most apparent was that dignity, respect and mutual trust are imperative to building a remote work environment where employees feel valued and engaged.

Workplace dignity gives people a personal sense of worth, value, and esteem. The value of dignity in the workplace has been recognised globally and is an important criterion for attracting and retaining talent. Treating my team with dignity means I can trust that their work will be done, and that they will serve customers with respect.

To keep employees grounded and informed, the importance of ongoing, open communication also came to the fore. Giving people the platform to offer suggestions, voice concerns, and feel seen and heard, continues to be vital. Obviously, giving instructions and delegating tasks remain important, but honest engagement via a number of platforms has been a boon in these difficult times.

 Looking to the future, it will be important to determine how hybrid working structures will be designed. Empathic leadership will become more important than ever as the different needs of a diverse group of employees have to be managed and addressed.

Watch our webinar for more insights

Please watch our ‘Living through disruption’ webinar on YouTube where we explored some more of the human, business and tech challenges of the remote working world.

Moderators and panelists included:

  • Asanda Sosibo, Portal sales manager, Tarsus Distribution
  • Shirlinia Martin, General manager, channel sales, Tarsus Distribution
  • Bev Hancock, conversational catalyst, strategic facilitator and interactive presenter
  • Siphiwe Moyo, CEO of Paradigm People Solutions


[Photo by Eden Constantino on Unsplash