Covid 19...How will life change? How will our business model change? How will our day to day activities change?

These are just my thoughts, based on what we "think" we know, today.  I don't trust any one resource as logic must prevail with how germs spread.  No one knows truly.   I believe our new normal will have dramatic changes to how we live.  I am not convinced it is a bad thing.  It requires us all to be far more creative with our businesses, our work life and our personal life.

Well if you are like me, I have been doing a whole lot of planning, training, educating and thinking through focusing more on and enhancing my online consulting services.  I don't let grass grow under my feet. Why?  Well, I think it is clear that we are moving in that direction more rapidly than many have wanted.  I do believe that companies that didn't want to do this will realize working from home and using technology is a very practical and desirable (by many) way to get our work done.  We have sophisticated technology where you can easily interact with video conferencing.  We can conveniently do training, share documents and have team discussions right from the comforts of our homes.  Such a way of work can save businesses money in leasing costs and office space for starters.  Many people work smarter when from home (again if inclined to be disciplined to do so) so we can monitor the important things like output, results and dependability and reliability.  Why do so many fear the work from home situation? Most feel they need to know people are actually working.  Well why can't you do that from a distance? You aren't watching them every minute while at work.  If you can't trust them working from home, you can't trust them at the office.  Such employees are not your top performers in general.  Adults that are competent and dedicated not only don't need micromanagement, but despise it.  So,  one thing we learned clearly is working remote can work.  If you didn't learn that, please reach out, JBM can help guide you through as this is a normal way of business.

Then I think about how this is going to impact what we do and the changes to our lifestyle.  I do think more good than bad will come of it.  I believe that bars and restaurants, gathering places of large groups will have to modify their business models.  I am thinking that home parties are going to gain popularity once again, so catering will be more popular.  I believe personal care industry businesses, hair salons, spas etc will have to modify their business plans to focus more on getting along with servicing less people throughout a given day.  That isn't ideal by any means, as immediately their income will be reduced dramatically, but how else do you feel comfortable in public if there are too many people where 6 feet away isn't possible or practical?  The masks will be absolutely required everywhere...

Friendly greetings are going to look different.  This bothers me most I think.  I am a person who engages and loves people.  A hug isn't uncommon where appropriate. Well, that's going to have to change.  Will we still shake hands?  With will we express our non verbals?...smiles will be hidden.  That's another thing I readily do and just seems so weird.  Our eyes will have to be bright and cheerful because that's all others will see.

What about events, conferences, large meetings?  I think those are going to be virtual and it is indeed possible. Saving on travel alone can make this highly desirable once we determine how best to coordinate such events.  More and more people want their time more than anything...reducing travel is a positive to most.  The value of family/home time has become more and more valued and we now have had to learn to focus on just that.  

As human beings we like interaction, we are social, we like touch and we rely on nonverbal expressions to read situations.  We will have some limitations with mask wearing no doubt.  

Self policing our situation and environment will inevitably cause some very uncomfortable interactions.  We will have to master asking someone to move away from us so that we aren't feeling bad or sound mean spirited.  I am dreading that. I sure hope people do it on their own.  I will definitely be uncomfortable with that. I am big on giving warm welcomes and full engagement to those I am with...this is going to be different for sure.

How I spend my time will change for a while at least.  Again, these thoughts are fresh as we are one month into the Covid-19 restrictions.  I may change how I feel but honestly, I intend on being home alot more.  I used to socialize alot and so enjoy seeing people in my loving community however, I am going to opt for home parties of small groups for a long while.  I also loved going out to eat, three times a week or so.  That too is not likely in the near future. And then there is the community bars that are so full of great people to hang out with, well that too is unlikely to be in the near future for any of us.  Will I fly anytime soon?  VERY UNLIKELY..however, I am hoping they have learned that cleaning the airplanes thoroughly is a must and put more time between flights in order to do so.  Greed won't prevail if you keep loading up the planes, hundreds of bodies in and out of them within minutes of the last flight.  That was always concerning to me, hence my disinfectant wipes in my purse at all times.  

Public gatherings are just not something that will appeal to me for a long while.  Weddings, showers, family reunions, birthday celebrations, anniversary celebrations, you name it, the way we are used to having them is going to have to change. At least in the near future.  This has been disappointing and at times scary.  An invisible monster lurking.  It has been tremendously distressing not to be able to be with "your" people, especially your immediate family.  Just the no hugs and kisses is mind-blowing!  But, the fear of doing anything different is even more scary.  I am about to be a grandmother and the thought of my pregnant daughter getting sick is stressful.  I have been diligent about staying home and keeping contact with others to an absolute minimum.  As social as I normally am, this is a HUGE change for me.  

Embracing the down time is something I am cherishing.  I am enjoying just being home.  I work from home so my work life hasn't changed a ton, although I miss being with client groups a great deal.  We do keep in touch and "meet" on video conferencing so actually, we are still keeping in touch and for that I am grateful. 

I am finding ways of connecting even more and more through technology, hosting video chats more recently, on important topics that businesses and struggling employees and/or people in general need to hear about. Some topics we covered so far relate to:  Debt relief, unemployment issues, sole proprietor benefits, cash flow management, mental health issues and ways of coping, career transition options, business design restructure, organization restructure.  Encouraging self help and professional development.  Encouraging people to gain new skills, think creatively about their future.  This time is invaluable. In any case, these chats are here to bring us together, cover important topics and then have a discussion.  I look forward to these every week.  

Then I think about those on the "front line" who could only wish for some down time.  This issue is not the same for all of us by any means.  It is the same scary monster but our circumstances are not the same, therefore, we need to be conscious of how our loved ones, friends and acquaintances are struggling through it all. Ask ourselves, how can we help? We have seen so many people pitch in and offer so many wonderful services, items, resources, food etc.   For me it is my expertise that I can offer.  I am offering all types of customization if consulting packages and even an hour of FREE career coaching to help people move through this as positively as possible.  I have had people decide to change careers.  I have had some decide to open a business.  I have had some who decided to stay home and just focus on family.  We all have different circumstances and this is time to rethink how we are living our best life.  Together we determine what that would look like.

Employers are rethinking the "essential" positions.  This is a good time to determine what you can outsource.  HR is a huge one for this, as companies need high quality HR support but truly do not need someone on staff full time?  Small businesses generally can't do this well. They try to throw HR responsibilities on someone ill prepared to address them.  Therefore, I am offering many options to make online HR consulting an option for any organization.  The depth of my experience is valuable for all and I will do what I can to make it work for any company.  That has been and will continue to be my mission through  Don't be complacent, position your business to be ready to roll to be stronger than ever.

And hygiene and disinfecting....Why did this ever go so far away?  My parents taught us the basics of always washing hands, shoes off at the door, cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze, preferably with a tissue or in your arm to avoid germs in your hands.  Public facilities need to get this right.  Airlines need to spend the  money and time on disinfecting.  Public bathrooms have got to be cleaned basically all day. Staff accordingly. I have seen that Healthcare professionals wear their scrubs outside of their work site. I think it is time to change clothing before and after work, so  germs are not brought out in the community and more importantly to home and family.  I am sure that this will also reinforce to personal care people how very important it is to protect themselves and others, always.  There are always infectious germs out there, we know that.    

Finally, I am a person who sees a silver lining in the worst of situations.  Compared to losing my son, this pandemic is small potatoes.  I will use those coping skills to continuously keep things in perspective.  I live in the moment.  I live by faith, one day at a time.  It makes all the difference.  Be well, be smart, seek to keep yourself AND those around you healthy by practicing social distancing and healthy hygiene habits.

I am here to help any business owner and leader to rethink their business delivery, business staffing, organization structure and position considerations.  Let's plan now! 


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