Transition, Boundaries, and Fear

Welcome to summer. Warmer weather, longer days, pandemic, economic distress, riots and protests, and nary a Clorox wipe still to be found. I don’t mean to take any of that lightly. There are a lot of issues to be concerned with now, as well as much change and progress ushering in hope.

Scientists have kicked into high gear, collaborating across the globe like never before, to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. With 100 trials on-going, the medical community is confident we will have a vaccine sooner rather than later.

The economy here in the United States and in other parts of the world is opening. While we should expect on-going uncertainty in the job market, we are moving again.

True social justice and change is crossing the nation with sweeping police reform now being considered across the country. America’s cries for change are being echoed globally as well.

World supply chains are shifting as globally it is seen how a reliance on China for cheap goods and labor is not good for home markets. Internally, the inability to flex and redistribute our food supply and other essential goods needs to improve.

Yet, at kitchen tables across the nation where people have set up their home offices and home schools, there is a lot of worry about a return to work. What does the 2020 office now look like? Is it safe? Is it empty? Are you the one to stay home or the one designated to return? What happens if you don’t feel safe or a co-worker becomes ill? What does company travel look like? Hazard pay?

When you do return, you will have a different view of your co-workers. You’ve interacted with their families and their pets. You’ve spied on their desks and homes and laughed at their choice of Zoom backgrounds. You’ve also worked in a more connected, round-the-clock environment. With everyone ordered to stay inside, many companies have been surprised at the amount of work that has been completed. For others, it has exposed issues and concerns they didn’t know they had.

Reclaiming Work-Life Balance

Change is coming. We must factor in commutes, perhaps longer in traffic as people shy away from public transportation. Employees may use more sick days electing to follow public health advice and stay home. People will vacation again. Our hyped-work environment will change and managers and leaders must help themselves and their employees establish boundaries between work and home once again.

Change is hard. We’ve had so much of it this year with much more predicted. There’s an election in fewer than 150 days.

This issue of Wise Words is devoted to resources to help you navigate the boundaries and transitions that are now coming slow and steady as the workforce returns to physical office space. At least some of it. Work from home and shared work spaces with family will continue too, building a new hybrid work culture.

No matter where you land, remember the power of communication, education, and training. Wise Ways Consulting will always have current resources and programs to see you to your new normal.

I welcome your feedback, ideas, and the chance to connect anytime you want to say hello. Contact me with your questions and goals.