Thinking about "New Normal" in the workplace

So many are nervous and yet excited about getting back to work.  After being away so long, there is an element of fear, anxiety and concern about what this will be like.  We know it will never be the same.  We will never be the same.  Between the COVID 19 and now the racial tension this escalates our fears. 

As business owners and leaders we have so much to consider.  We need to be sure we are in compliance with all of the new regulations related to COVID19.  We are spending a great deal of money on products and reorganization of our workplaces.  We are trying to identify who it is in our workplace that we will give additional responsibilities to to help maintain the compliance documentation, daily.  We are worried about the mental health of some of our employees as they begin to address their concerns and fears about returning to work.  We are perplexed by all the leaves and paid time off that we need to consider along with ADA if accommodations are necessary to help them ease back into work.  We are worried that the financial implications will have such impact that we may need to reduce staff.  So many things to consider and the unknowns are quite overwhelming.

Then the racial tension.  The fear of how the recent death of an African American man at the hands of law enforcement will impact race relations at work.  What as a leader do you need to do? Are your anti harassment, anti discrimination policies and practices solid? Are you hiring ensuring that you are being objective and fair?  Are you inadvertently missing opportunities to embrace diversity in the workplace? How do you know either way?  We just  need to realize that there may be new relationship issues related.  Be conscious of how this unrest adversely impacts coworkers.  Let's hope it is minimal and this whole things goes away sooner than later.  Having said that, it will only do so when we realize we ALL need to respect ALL people.

Are your supervisors ready for the changes and how they need to reconsider the existing policies (which there are several) in place and implement some so differently now that we have to consider COVID 19 and all that comes with it?  Did you plan your training with employees and supervisors.  All need to fully understand your new formal safety plan.  Don't forget you do need one and the template is available for you on NY Forward website.  Check out your industry specifically as there are variations in requirements.  

Handbooks need to be updated.  

The workplace as we knew it is no longer. How do we collectively "grieve" that old way and embrace the new? Have you spent the time you need anticipating the changes?

I tend to embrace change.  I tend to see the silver-linings in challenges in life and I tend to find ways to become better as a result. What new and exciting is part of your "new normal".  I am sure you can find many if you look at them that way.  Whether it is downsizing, resizing, restructuring, reduced overhead costs, reducing leasing costs with people working from home, being more creative in your line of business.  All of this is good. It's how we perceive it that makes the difference. I hope embrace change as much as I do!




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