Life before the COVID-19 pandemic seems like a distant past time. The time of the office community M&Ms bowl is long gone and has been replaced with bottles of hand sanitizer lining each cubicle. The water-cooler chat has now been replaced with six feet of distance while talking to a co-worker’s eyes. We no longer see each other’s mouths as they are covered by the newest fashion statement: the face mask. The fresh lemon scent of Lysol has lost its unique smell. These changes aren’t bad, just different.
The truth is, the pandemic has changed us and the way we work. A standard 8-5 workday filled with packed conference rooms, packed lunchrooms, and client visits is no longer normal. Instead, there are sterile desks, few chats, and many masks. Yet, we are thankful for this in comparison to our 1 year and 3 months of only seeing our co-workers through a virtual screen.
Our culture has adapted to a hybrid work-from-home and in-office lifestyle. We have become experts at Zoom and Google meetings. We continue to learn new ways to work and to be efficient as a team. Technology binds us, but there’s something about being able to have an in-person conversation that truly helps drive productivity. Being able to read another person’s body language and better understand their stance on a topic is a valuable tool that the pandemic has added a layer of difficulty to. Because of this, we must work to ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable in the environments in which we meet. We must add additional thought to each virtual meeting to ensure we don’t overlook any non-verbal cues.
Wow, times have changed! So much change in such a short period of time. What was once normal no longer feels normal. Today’s “new normal” doesn’t yet feel normal. And, the truth is that no one knows what is next.
But, here is what we do know. We are thankful for the doctors, nurses, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, CNAs, first responders, janitors, and others who have played a role in helping save and restore lives throughout the pandemic. We are thankful for our clients who have pushed through many virtual meetings with us. We are thankful for our team and their dedication to not only their careers but also to the safety of others.
We will continue to take it day by day to ensure the safety of our team and our clients.