Someone asked during our webinar recently, “Why can’t things just be business as usual?”
It can’t be business as usual because one month ago….
We weren’t under quarantine.
We weren’t working from home.
Our kids were still in school.
COVID-19 was thousands of miles away.
Spring break was still happening.
The Olympics weren’t postponed.
It was life as usual one month ago.
As much as I share this person’s wish, it can’t be business as usual because it’s not life as usual.
There’s this catch 22 right now in the world of work and business. The reality is, work still has to happen. We still have to be productive. We still have to keep performing. And often times this requires some sort of normalcy and routine. These elements give structure and value. They help ground us.
But we can’t expect that it can be business as usual. Office routines don’t apply to work from home routines. Productivity expectations don’t apply when you’re also trying to care for kids. Creativity is difficult when you are worried about your sick loved ones. Now when we grasp for the old ways, business as usual, we are reaching for something that doesn’t exist anymore. How we once defined normal, needs to be redefined.
I encourage you to think about what your new normal is. What is your new routine? What are the new expectations and structures for work? What is the new work flow for your team? What does effective communication look like right now? How can a new normal allow the space needed for the collective stress? How can we give grace differently to ourselves and others?
Eventually, the quarantine will be lifted. Eventually, we will return to our office desks, in-person meetings, and water cooler chat. But it won’t return to the normalcy of work of the past. It will be a different normal. Our world has shifted. We have a jagged crack intersecting our lives. It will be up to each of us to make this shift into something meaningful and impactful. It will be up to each of us to take the lessons of slowing down, leaving space for the remarkable, and connecting on a deeper level into life after quarantine. While we can’t stop the disruption, we can start a new creation.