New Abnormal

One of the benefits of having several events cancelled during the shutdown – including a return trip to Nigeria – is I attended quite a few Zoom meetings and webinars about what business might look like once the U.S. reopens. I also asked my clients in health care what they’re experiencing. Here are some things I heard:

– The pandemic will transition into an endemic that remains close by… returning intermittently in waves until a vaccine arrives
– People are comfortable working from home… and the office will never be the same; there are more important things to care about than a child making noise or the dog walking into frame
– Transparent communication is essential at all levels of the organization… including frequent updates and checking in with direct reports and peers on how they’re doing, not just work
– A little over two months ago unemployment was at a generational low, now there are 26 million people receiving benefits. When the economy picks up, there will be a lot of talented individuals anxious to get back to doing great things
– While calendars are packed all day with virtual meetings, attendees recognize the need to be efficient and effective… and many are ending five minutes early to give everyone a small break

One client – an executive – told me that he scheduled a meeting for 90 minutes and someone challenged him when it ended 30 minutes early: “Why did you take up that block on my calendar? Someone else could have booked it.” My client answered: “It’s the end of the day, I figured you might appreciate the extra time.” The person responded: “You’re right. It’s 4:30 and I haven’t even eaten lunch. Thank you.”

I saw a LinkedIn post today that suggested skipping the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys next year and holding an awards show for doctors, nurses, EMS and other front-liners who are the real stars among us. I’ll watch that one.


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