How to thrive in the new normal? This year has brought about significant change and growth in many ways. Can we adapt after all that has changed over the course of this year? How to migrate back into the ‘normal’ way of doing things, is a recurring question across the board. Workplaces won’t be the same, is that a good or bad thing?
These questions will be discussed further to understand the new normal that is yet to be embraced.
Stress and anxiety levels are in overdrive for a lot of people navigating their way out of lockdown. Prior to COVID-19, shared workspaces were just a part of the daily routine. The ingrained knowledge that a 1.5m distance must be kept and minimal bodies in one governed area, can have people on high alert. This state of readiness can be referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response. When your body is in a high stress situation, it can stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. This can trigger an adrenaline rush and increase the body’s heart rate and blood pressure.
To get the most out of your employees, a proactive approach should be taken when dealing with people’s mental and physical states. Allow time for your employees to come forward with their thoughts and concerns. Give them ample opportunity to manage any fears going back into a shared workspace. Acknowledge that people handle stress in a variety of ways and need to be dealt with accordingly. Implementing effective approaches will ease employees stress levels. Benefits to employee wellness, are discussed in our previous article ‘4 Reasons Every Organisation Should Implement a Wellness Programme’.
The Difference Between Thriving and Surviving
The intrusive arrival of the pandemic left many questioning how safe common activities are. Will there be hesitation when it comes to social gatherings? There will be a subtle yet prevalent thought process that emerges after having to stay isolated for long periods of time. But in order to move forward a conscious effort should be made to reconnect and rebuild relationships. As social beings we crave support and human connection. To make this easier in the workplace flexibility is essential. This could look like adaptable working hours and small group meetings.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
To move forward into new way of post COVID-19 life, a good focus would be to set goals. Goal setting should follow the S.M.A.R.T guidelines. For all members of the workplace whether you’re an employee or the employer, steps should be taken to action change. This should be done in a healthy way to negate any fears coming out of isolation. Replace the focus towards the future, rather than dwelling on the way life was prior to this year. A goal can be long term or short term for any aspect of your life.
- Specific to the outcome
- Measurable to manage the steps being taken
- Attainable to ensure the goal is reached
- Realistic so it is within reach
- Time bound to give yourself a target end date
Office spaces have implemented compulsory hand sanitising stations and contactless interactions. These are only two of the changes that are arguably going to be beneficial with or without the presence of an ongoing pandemic. Change is inevitable, embracing it in a positive way is the key.