We’re all in this together, having a very individual experience.
For some, the question is, ‘Are we there yet?’ They’re over it.
Others, while enjoying the slower pace and simpler life that lockdown brings, wonder, ‘Can we keep it more like this?’
And while it might seem far away and staying grounded today is no mean feat, many are wondering: ‘What’s the next normal?’
WHAT’S THE NEXT NORMAL FOR YOUR WORKPLACE?
As a leader, you’ll likely have a say in the next normal for your workplace. Or at least for your patch.
This is a perfect time to bring about change. So much is up in the air already. It’s unlikely that anything you want to do will, in any way, compare to a global pandemic. That means there’ll be less resistance to it. It’s one of the few possible upsides of this crisis.
At least you’ve got time to think about it. We’re not going to be rushing back to our open plan offices anytime soon. And when we do, it’ll likely be a slow, partial return with new health practices a given. Hand washing, temperature checking, physical distancing, rosters. Whatever it takes to keep the curve down.
These are the outward ways of working. In some ways, they’re the easier things. But even then, they’re not that easy. Everything is an adjustment and it takes more energy than we’d care to admit. Especially now that we’re all a bit change fatigued. But it’s a minimum that we’re safe at work, and that includes the commute. It’s a lot to think about.
It’s the inward ways of working, that we will, ideally, give as much thought to. In times like these, it’s important to soldier on. Do what you have to do. Get through it. Hold yourself together. Help others hold it together.
Business survival comes first. But what about when some of the pressure is off? When you’re generating revenue, saving where you can and your operations are running just fine. It’s then that you’ll have more space to attend to the emotional and psychological impacts of COVID-19.
The fallout may catch us by surprise. For some it may be smooth sailing. For others, it might be akin to getting sick as soon as you start your holiday. Or getting a cold once the exams are over (that always happened to me). And, it may be more serious. There’s a summary of the psychological impacts of COVID-19 in the Lancet, reporting posttraumatic stress disorder, confusion and anger as common negative psychological effects.
That doesn’t bode well for the workplace. Still, no need for alarm. It’s not guaranteed. Besides, it’s one step at a time. It’s do what you can, as you can. This is a marathon. Keep up the training and you’ll run a better race.
If you want some help, simply hit reply to start the conversation. If you haven’t already, you can also get more on the psychology behind leading people through the COVID-19 crisis in my free online program: Leading Through the COVID-19 Crisis here.