I think by now we’ve all accepted that things are changing.
Correction: things have changed.
There’s no going back. COVID-19 has impacted our world and the way we live in the same way Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon changed the history of the Roman empire, in the same way 9/11 changed our sense of security. Things are different now, and, moving forward, even after the dust has settled, they are still going to be somewhat different.
- Are personal interactions changed forever?
- Will we still go to the office?
- Can we keep doing those meetings online?
I don’t know. But I see some signs.
This transition from a traditional workplace to getting things done from home has offered us a few insights, one of which is: some people thrive in the work-at-home setting and some struggle.
Your most productive, competent, high-achieving in-office employee may only perform at a fraction of their potential in an at-home setting due to various factors (the lack of the normal office rituals, home office workspace issues, distractions, stress, to name a few).
Then there’s that person who is finally shining, freed from a commute, colleagues stopping by their desk, and the annoying noise the water cooler makes and reveling in the periods of relatively uninterrupted work.
As project managers we love to build visuals to help understand processes. As we deal with our current circumstances and work to carve out a new normal, things look a little like this:
This isn’t a chronological progression, either. It’s a continuum. A gauge with people and businesses moving back and forth along it. For example, you might find a team who is confidently working through Adapting a business processes only to find an unexpected complex security issue that must be addressed. Or you may have an employee who is working with Transformed efficiency that is in a moment faced with then their spouse losing their job and it pitches them left into personal crisis. We need to be sensitive to that while we leverage the transition from where we were, to where we are, to where we’re going.
Here’s an interesting question: When COVID-19 is over, do we all really need to go back to the office?
Several companies I am aware of are asking that question. Before COVID-19, they were looking at relocating their operations to a larger office building. Now they are saying, hey, maybe we don’t need something so big. Maybe we only bring back as few as 20% of our employees back to an office setting and let everyone else work from home.
What would that mean for their businesses, their budgets, their growth, their employee retention rate? These are the kinds of things Solarity is helping business leaders assess.
Our company’s purpose is to help individuals, communities, and organizations thrive. What does thriving look like in the dilemma that is COVID-19? Our business and the businesses we work with are faced with adversity in this current moment. As Simon Sinek says, we need to have an “Infinite Mindset” to allow this time of adversity to do its painful work, but use it as an opportunity to make us and our organizations better, more prepared, more resilient.
Eventually, everyone is going to poke their heads up and be able to get perspective what the new world looks like. There is no “going back to normal”.
Let’s be ready for it.
Want to be part of the conversation? Join us for our LIVE Community Discussion Series: How are you adapting the New Normal which takes place every Thursday at noon.
About the Authors
Bert Walther, PMP®, has had the privilege of working with many highly qualified people in the Central Kentucky business community. With their help he has gained over 20 years of technology and operations experience, including 10 years of experience in higher education IT management, and over 10 years of project management expertise. In his various roles and responsibilities, he has fostered organizational development through effective program and personnel management, and worked hard to deliver project and initiatives as designed and anticipated.
Christy Swift has been a writer and correspondent in the United States and Canada for over 10 years. With a degree in English and technical writing, she has a knack for making complicated subject matter digestible and even tasty. Christy regularly conducts research into the latest trends in project management to provide the Solarity Group with engaging content for its website and e-newsletters.
Our mission is to help people, organizations, and communities THRIVE! Our broad range of experience and knowledge in a range of different industries allows us to customize our approach to fit the situation. We work in total partnership with our clients to understand their business needs and the current environment, and then match the right amount of process to meet the culture and the project.