The New Norm
Isn’t it bizarre how so much can change in a year ?
2020 has been a greatly challenging year for so many of us in so many different ways. It has affected everything we do and how we do it.
I often hear people say they are looking forward to getting back to normal. I understand and relate to this in terms of going back to being able to see friends and family, enjoy meals out, trips to the cinema, a wander round the shops and all of those little things that spell out normality for many of us
But when it comes to the world of work, for many of us, I don’t think we’ll ever go back to ”normal” again. And, in my opinion, that is one of the few positives this pandemic has brought about.
I heard someone say once ”there’s no such thing as work-life and home-life, there’s just life” and with many people now being given the opportunity to truly experience this by working from home that allows for flexibility and a real enmeshment of ”work-life” and ”home-life”, many people will not want to go back to sitting in an office 9- 5, 5 days a week after successfully fulfilling their role whilst working at home, and why should they ?
Work is a part of life. It should not be something that all other parts of your life stop and wait for. And this is the realisation that many people have come to this year. It has allowed room for reflection about how we were living and how we were spending our precious, limited time.
How many people who now work from home are able to pop on a load of washing or whip the hoover round during the day that would normally suck up part of their ”free time” on the weekends when they weren’t sat at their desk ?
How many people are able to accept a supermarket delivery any time of the day and aren’t fighting for one of the few remaining evening slots because they were usually only home from the office evenings ?
How many people now have the time and headspace to prepare and cook nutritious meals instead of chucking something in the oven because it is ”quick and easy” and all you have time for when you get home from the office in the evening ?
How many people have the freedom to step away from their laptop and get some movement and fresh air by doing a lap of the block with their dog midday ?
And on that note, how many less lonely pets do we have now ?
Working from home has allowed many of us to successfully mesh ”work-life” and ”home- life” together to simply create and live ”life”. And that is a beautiful thing. Many people have found they are no longer frustrated and exhausted at having to cram any other part of life other than work into evenings and weekends. The little 5 minute chores that would normally add up to at least one of their days off are now scattered here and there when it’s good for them. And life should be good for them.
I think its safe to say we will be seeing a real shift in the way many people do business now that this pandemic has forced many people to work in a very different way to ”normal”. Where many leaders have been resistant or hesitant to allow team members to work away from site, they have now had no choice but to. And many have been surprised at the productivity that has emerged as a result when their fear told them the opposite would occur. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown. Because ”that’s the way we’ve always done it”
Hybrid working is the term on everyone’s tongues at the moment when it comes to the future of many workplaces, with people getting the best of both worlds – the face-to-face interaction with team members at an office-style space and the freedom to work from their home / away from that office space
Bring on the new norm…