I was recently asked, “Who do you want to be once this is over?” The easy answer – I want to still be me and still be here without having inadvertently contaminated anyone around me with the virus (should I have ever been unknowingly exposed). The harder answer I think this question was meant to elicit – I want to be clearer on what I want from my life, my work, and what I’m willing to change to feel more successful in being a whole human once we all get the choice to socialize in person while maintaining whatever works virtually. Yes, the new world, post-pandemic, will have more virtual choices. But there will likely be a combo of in person and virtual for a long while. Then I turned the question on my myself and considered, “What do I want my business to be like once this pandemic is over?” I want my business to be better positioned for growth with referrals, financially positioned for change, and have a better virtual track record than I ever had considered before. As an executive leadership coach and business owner, I’ve been in a variety of ramp up phases over the past few years as new information, client processes, and marketing have moved more virtual than ever.
Is this an opportunity? I am from the coveted and valued face to face world of public speaking, engagement training, HR consulting, and executive coaching – and while the virtual world welcomes the sight of your face, the virtual processes still stump many more than can be tolerated some days. Don’t get discouraged, fatigued, or disgusted; I still look at all of this as an opportunity. The pandemic allows us all to consider what we get to do now AND next – in the work from home (WFH) world – it’s just now more virtually than ever before. Here are some bright spots and WFH perks–
My clients and I can meet within a split second with the click of a button and a webcam. This makes appointments easier to fit into the day with more productivity before and after our sessions. With the use of good headphones and good sound, confidentiality can be maintained without interruptions from barking dogs, excited kids, or the random adult walking behind you in weird outfits of comfort.
As many offices maintain productivity, the ability to work from home due to a sick family member, travel for family needs, or personal care will likely be granted with more grace in the future – as long as work productivity doesn’t falter. It seems people don’t have to be seen to take pride in their work and produce great work. Go figure.
Many people who commuted prior to isolation are more productive, healthier, and happier by not only lessening their carbon footprint, but also avoiding the office chit chat that got in their way or office politics that increased the daily drama.
While many parents are eagerly awaiting the return of daycare availabilities and in person school days, they are also starting to realize the added benefit of quality time with kids they used to wish for when they had to miss school functions due to work or traffic.
Many people claim to have more time for exercise, self-care, and not getting sick due to exposure from fellow employees. And – there is also the saved money from not having to pay for transportation, road tolls, gas, childcare, and dry cleaning.
The flip side– Yes, there are tons of disadvantages to be worked out too. Those who are unemployed due to office closures is a large one. And YES, we are experiencing pandemic fatigue. Just remember to keep perspective, stay safe and healthy, do what is needed to keep others safe, and start to plan what you want to be when the world opens back up.
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