Despite all the isolation, I’m sure I’m not alone when it comes to a sense of eager anticipation about a day in the not-so-distant future when we can return to “normal” – that is, once the most dangerous threats associated with Covid-19 are behind us. A time when we can meet for coffee or grab lunch, perhaps take in a movie, go on vacation, share an elevator with strangers, welcome guests into our home without public health fears or… dare I say it… without masks! When that day comes, it strikes me that we will have the rare opportunity to hit “reset” on our own individual standard operating procedures and to rethink the way we want to organize our days.
For example, what will your office space look like? Will you seek to return to your office or cubicle desk in an office building? Or, are you now a work-from-home kind of gal? Or, different still, will you establish a hybrid model for yourself, opting to borrow a hoteling cube in your company’s office space? With those things in mind, if the desk you occupy is not always YOUR desk, how will you create a sense of place – a location that is uniquely yours, a place where you feel like you belong, a feeling of ownership? These are choices you have before you.
There are other choices, too. In the “olden days,” were you prone to shake others’ hands when you encountered them and/or met them for the first time? How about a hug (I’m a hugger, myself)? What will be your new protocol? Perhaps a fist bump or elbow tap? A respectful “Namaste” with a slight bow? Or, will it be caution to the wind and go in for that handshake and/or hug once more? You’ll need to make some choices.
And, then, there are the lengthier encounters. Meetings… meals… even lines at Costco… will you insist on six-foot safe social distancing space between you and the next person, or will you throw caution to the wind based on your comfort in the knowledge that you and/or your colleagues, contacts, friends, family and fellow patrons have been immunized to the disease? Choices. Choices.
Unfortunately, there seems to still be plenty of time to contemplate these and other similar decisions. In the months to come, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Hit your own reset button. Choose your level of comfort in each scenario. Return to a “normal” that feels good to you. It need not look like what it looked like before March 2020. Welcome back only the people and spaces and opportunities that help you to be your best, happiest, most productive self.
- Respect the choices of others. While you are busy shaping your world the way that feels good to you, others are doing the same. Though their choices may not match yours, give others grace and space to establish their own SOPs and respect their approaches.
- Experiment. The beauty of this time we’re living in is that we’ve learned new ways of getting things done, new ways of communicating, new methods of living life that we never anticipated we would become comfortable with and, yet, there they are! Embrace them. Impromptu video conferencing and cooking homemade meals may be here to stay – even amid the community opening up once more. Your new normal will certainly shape up to be the right choice for you!