What’s Next: Regaining Confidence in Going “Forward” to Work

What’s Next: Regaining Confidence in Going “Forward” to Work

I got used to this…

I started this work from home period referring to everyday as a “bad Saturday.” We had homemade waffles for breakfast. We wore more comfortable clothes. We had an energetic toddler running around. Yet we were stuck inside and working full days (plus some).

A few weeks in, I set up an ergonomically friendly desk in the basement. I started waking up 20 minutes early to do yoga. Our team set some ground rules for how we communicate and share files. My husband and I got into a routine of rotating office spaces and playing with our son. I got into the groove. If you saw this popular article about grief, I’ll say I moved into the “acceptance” stage.

“We find control in acceptance.”

I imagine my situation looked similar, but never exactly the same, to many of you. At the same time, some may not resonate with this at all, depending on who’s at home with you, what personal roles you might have and what your job status became. What we’ve each experienced the last two months or so hasn’t been the same, but it’s changed us, and continues to do so. And yet, we still say things will go “back to normal.”

The next normal...or maybe just the next.

I’ll take the risk of sounding like others out there and echo the questions…What is normal? Will normal ever be the same? I pondered this further in a conversation with Shawn. We were discussing the impact of COVID-19 on us personally and he said something like, “Our futures will be okay, but whatever happens now will certainly change what our futures look like.”

This stuck with me. Maybe now I’m grieving a future that I could’ve had. But what was my old future like and was that future better or worse than the one I’m on track to have now? I won’t know, but it was meant to be this way.

One client recently shared a similar concern with us – What will that first day back be like? Will it be celebration? Sadness? Both?

What does your future look like? What does your first day back look like? How can you have confidence in moving forward with your “next future?”

When it comes to work, how can you go “back” to how things were in February? Some things will be the same when you return, if you can and do return: You might go back to your old parking spot. Some things will be naturally different: You’ll think twice before you use the community coffee pot. Some things will be different by force, and some things will be different by choice.

In the same way I had to adjust my mindset from “normal” to “bad Saturdays” to “new normal,” this change will send us into a bit of reverse culture shock.

How can we confidently move forward with momentum when there’s still uncertainty? How can we regain the confidence of our employees as we seek to new-normalize?

Think about it this way: We’re not going “back” to work…we’re going forward. We’re not settling into a “new normal”…we’re settling into “the next.”

Are you ready? Download the humanworks Regaining Confidence Checklist below for our thoughts on how to move forward into your next.

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