What I’m looking forward to as the new normal starts to unfold
Across the country, life is slowly getting back to ‘normal’ as workplaces, restaurants and other social hubs begin to re-open and social distancing rules are relaxed. There’s lots I’m looking forward to, and also much that I’ve learnt.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been back to running my courses again (while still observing social distancing and hygiene measures of course) and the feeling is wonderful. I really love what I do and get genuine fulfillment from helping people move forward in their careers and lives.
I’ve noticed, too, that there’s been a feeling of positivity in the air, albeit a bit tentative and cautious in case there’s a ‘second wave’ of the virus.
Many have been forced to change their lives a lot; for example, adapting their businesses (me included), or searching for new jobs.
However, I think it’s important to focus on best practice for moving forward, so here are a few things that I’m looking forward to, and I suspect many others are too.
- Being face-to-face
We’ve all been putting a lot of effort into keeping in touch with people – colleagues, friends and family – and thank goodness for video conferencing technologies that have enabled us to do so. Yet if you’ve ventured out to meet a friend for a coffee, then I’m sure you would have appreciated the simple pleasure of being able to catch up face-to-face again (at a safe distance, of course).
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released at the beginning of May found loneliness was the most common stressor of COVID-19, affecting 28% of woman and 16% of men. This doesn’t surprise me at all.
One aspect of my work that I especially love (and miss) is getting to regularly interact with a range of different people.
Our leadership and team development programs are unique, and while some aspects of what we do can be run online, there’s some special magic that happens when people actually interact with our horses. Afterall, it is experiential learning.
One of my personal work goals is to help teams re-connect with each other after being apart for so long. I think flexible work and working from home is great, but people who are used to working physically alongside each other are no doubt missing the company of others, including inter-personal banter and team bonding events.
- Sharing physical space
I also think loneliness stems not just from not physically being with people, but from missing the atmosphere of being in a shared physical space. That’s why many of us enjoy going to restaurants and cafes or having friends over.
As you may know, all our courses are run from our place in Terrey Hills, in Sydney. It’s a rural oasis not too far from the city and everyone who comes here finds it calm and relaxing.
And, luckily, we have enough room to ensure everyone can keep a safe distance.
While all this has been happening, we’ve been working hard on finishing construction of a new meeting space. We’re really proud of how it’s turned out! (See the photo of our mural) The space is large and can be used not just for training courses but for various events in different configurations. I can’t wait to welcome others here as soon as social distancing rules allow.
- Embracing necessary change
While I’m really looking forward to getting back to in-person training, I’m also excited about further developing our hybrid online/in-person business model.
This week, we’ve been running facilitator training online to cover the theory portion of our course (something we never did in the past), with the follow-up sessions involving the horses scheduled to take place later in the year. So far, the feedback has been extremely positive!
It is wonderful to see changes in my business working and I’ve been reflecting on the fact that this global pandemic has ended up being the catalyst for some very positive change.
I won’t deny it’s been stressful, having to seriously contemplate the future of a business which requires at least some form of face-to-face interaction. And I really feel for everyone who has lost their job or closed their business during this time.
What it has taught me though is the only way to get through an experience like this is to keep looking forward and do what you can. I hope everyone else out there can find a way to do so too.
What are you looking forward to? What changes has COVID-19 brought to your working life? How are you coping? Let me know in the comments. And for more information on Leading Edge Life Skills email firstname.lastname@example.org