Change Is The New Normal: What Are Organizations Abandoning Since COVID-19 And What Will They Not Continue To Do Once Things Return To ‘Normal?’

from Forbes

Our weekly discussion last week with leaders in the Future of Work and open talent ecosystem was powerful and open. We first addressed some of the issues surrounding our individual mental wellness and connectivity. Carin Knoop, from Harvard Business School has been conducting a bunch of research lately, “We may all come out of the COVID-19 experience with some form of PTSD and loneliness and burnout, all of which are things that we used to address or face or handle on our own, but with no outlets in the form of gyms or faith groups or other sources of relief or comfort, a lot of the healing and handling has to be done online.”

Ray Foote, an Executive Coach, conducted an exercise encouraging all of us to think about “who” we are in different situations instead of “what” I would do. 

This framing helped the group connect in a much deeper way and got us ready to discuss the topic at hand; What are organizations abandoning since COVID-19 and what will they not continue to do once things return to “normal?”  We heard from a few of the brightest minds to help us answer the question.

More here.

Posted in Business, Careers, Future Thinking and tagged , , .

26 Comments

  1. Covid-19 has undoubtedly altered the collective mindset of the country and has changed the way we believe society should function in order to reach our fullest potential. This article discusses the implications of the virus on business and how it reprioritizes the tools we use to create effective organizations. The morale of your employees is incredibly important for accomplishing goals, and companies have increasingly struggled as this pandemic has persisted to maintain culture. One of the medical supply companies that I had worked for previously had made little to no alterations to daily activities months into the spread of the virus. This visibly reflected on employees who sat in a compact office all day and were heavily exposed to germs from others. I very much agree with the idea that a focus on company culture and safety is a high priority both for the sake of your individual employees and the business as a whole. Moving online in many ways has benefited the communication throughout companies, which is invaluable in an ultra fast-paced world where things can change in an instant and be detrimental to those not paying close attention. It also helps with creating connections with employees as Chris Jerard of Inkwell states, “using very simple yet very human connections, we can have this amazing reach and immense power despite our smaller organization size.” Being able to foster both internal and external relationships in your company is a quick path to a more successful enterprise that reaches a much broader audience. This article presents some of the most important takeaways from an even like our current illness. Emphasis is also being made on the financial situation of the organizations, with rising desires to cut costs, implementing more flexible hours, and thinking about how to do things in a more on-demand way. It shows that despite all of the negative that has come from this situation, there is still room for some positive to change things for the better. My personal belief is that companies should come out of this situation with a better idea of how to treat their workers, and focus heavily on ensuring that they are taken care of so the there will be minimal effects on profit.

  2. With all of this coronavirus tizzy going on or otherwise known as the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are forced to close because of the state wide quarantine that was placed by govoners and the POTUS (president of the United States). These businesses while closed suffered financially eventhough the current president and his team worked hard to come up with the stimulus package to help out businesses by stimulation the economy. From what we have seen, these companies are struggling to maintain their culture, and keep their teams engaged and in more high spirits given what’s going on with the slowly slipping economy. This feeling of discomfort or lack of knowledge has placed a lot of emphasis on the fact that, in the long-term, there’s a need for a much better commitment to culture than we had in the past and becoming more employee-focused, rather than being so concered with a product and more on how it got there. This can take the form of better commitments to safety, cleanliness, etc. even if that comes with some detriment to productivity levels.During the routine weekly discussion last week with a mix of the leaders in the Future of Work and open talent ecosystem was super powerful and open. To begin, w first addressed some of the issues surrounding our individual mental wellness and connectivity. Carin Knoop, from Harvard Business School has been conducting a bunch of hands on research lately, “We may all come out of the COVID-19 experience with some form of PTSD and loneliness and burnout, all of which are things that we used to address or face or handle on our own, but with no outlets in the form of gyms or faith groups or other sources of relief or comfort, a lot of the healing and handling has to be done online.” After reading this I agree I think this situaton definintly showed citizens just how much they value their basic responsibilities, their jobs, the small accounts of daily social interactions, and going out to grab something from a retail store or the mall. Not surprisingly at all, the complete move to online for these companies has confidentially led to a lot more personal conversations than originally expected. This is because people are doing things they never had time to do before when the world was constantly alive around them, even when they shut down for the day. By connecting people online and talking, it has inspired more personal connections and dialogues and we see that continuing into the future. This in the future is projected to make a big difference over time. Although it has been noted that it won’t show up in sales numbers or productivity metrics right away but in terms of people’s health and well-being over time, it will have a big social impact-and the aspects and dimensions of that must be taken seriously as well.

  3. It is so strange to think that this lack of in-person communication has somehow led to more human connections. However, that’s just what many companies are doing, or going to do as they plan on placing a higher emphasis now that they are looking back at how they have handled situations regarding adaptations they have made for COVID-19. In the article “Change is The New Normal”, there are several different people from different companies who are giving an insight on the situation and what they are doing to adapt. Many of them, particularly Jeff Carbuck from 10EQS, reports that they are actually experiencing more personal and human connections. Despite not being able to meet with people face to face, people are using the online platforms that they have to meet with people as an environment in which people are having more honest and open conversations about themselves. Surprisingly, he is not viewing this as a negative or waste or potential productivity, but rather as something that they want to continue to happen in the future. Other companies have expressed that they want to be more focused on their employee wellbeing. In all of this chaos, it is surprising yet comforting to see how companies want to change. I was expecting there to be an approach that these human connections are not as needed in the workplace as people are able to work from home rather than meeting in person, but companies are learning that these connections are important to the way that the workplace functions and that it actually helps productivity in the long run. Another company also expressed their understanding of the lack of boundaries between work life and home life. This has been one thing that I have particularly disliked and struggled with the most about the “new normal”. It is really hard to find the balance between when I should be doing schoolwork versus when I should be in the “home” mentality. At some points, it is hard to relax because I am still in that work mode and then at other times, I know I should be getting work done because I have assignments due but I get caught in that “home” mentality. The most comforting part about this article is that despite the drastic changes being made to everyone’s lives, companies are taking an approach of empathy and wanting to understand what is going on in their employees’ lives so that they can improve their productivity in a way that also improves people’s lives.

  4. Reading this article was interesting because it helped paint a picture of what the future will unfold when the thing finally returns to normal. Of course, things will never be completely the same as before the virus. Some aspects of businesses will have to be tweaked to protect everyone for future circumstances. Chris Stanton explained, “Companies are retrospectively looking back already and assessing what they had to do to make it through to the next day and are now thinking about being more thoughtful and planning better for the future.” I agree with his opinion and agree that companies need to be better prepared because who knows if another wave is coming or not. They say history repeats itself so we should learn now so it will not be as big of an impact.
    Some companies have benefited over the shift to online-based workspaces. Jeff Carbuck said, “People are doing things they never had time to do before. Connecting online and talking– because there is no other outlet for anyone – has inspired more personal connections and dialogues and we see that continuing into the future.” He believes that this could have a positive impact on employee productivity and could lead to big things. I do not see it that way and have not had the same outcome with my online based classes. The classes now feel less important and they just do not seem to work. There is no valuable discussion. There is no interaction with anyone I class. There’s nothing but a professor giving another lecture on who knows what. I guess it was easier for businesses to shift to all remote meetings than it was for the schools. This whole article has people saying great things about being online, but I just do not see it through my experience.

  5. Because of the pandemic, the shift to the digital space has not been widely accepted by many. Workers are having a hard time making the switch to working at home, and in many instances its much harder to do certain jobs from a home environment. In this article Is many very interesting insights about how the shift to digital affects how we operate in many different ways. Normal human interaction is fundamentally different online, and even the things you may not think matter do when it comes to clear communication, especially in business. One student says things like body language and tone can really help you understand more than you think when it comes to telling how good or badly something is going. Another mentions that many firms have looked at completely restructuring their business model as to adapt it to the digital space. Most companies do not have an online spectrum in which they operate, so for many it is their first time venturing into this field. Companies already have a hard time focusing on their workers, and at a time like now that is what is most necessary to be able to continue operation. Not to mention how difficult it is to integrate your workplace into your home. The lack of useful resources can make people less efficient in their jobs, and its all based on the assumption that everyone has a reliable and stable connection to the internet in which to work from. The basic separation of the workplace and home is important too. Without distinction home becomes work and work becomes home, there is no escape from either, and can lead to much higher stress levels both during and after work hours. People can’t even leave their house for an evening to get out, theres no escape from the home and it’s causing many more issues on top of the pandemic. Supporting workers and understanding that this change is effecting everyone in many different ways is key to improving and changing for the future. Many wish to return back to normal, but the new normal is unpredictable and changing, with no clear direction or distinction, other than the expanding digital spectrum. The ability to adapt to this changing world will be your most useful tool.

  6. The biggest theme that I can immediately see in this article is mental health. For the most part, it seemed that it was talked about in most of those people’s comments in the article. Oddly I can agree. Look once this is over people will be out all the time, seeing people that they haven’t seen since the lockdown, or just enjoying a walk in the park. More people connecting with others because we want to after this, which could lead to more business opportunities. I think it’s interesting how Pearson says how there will be more emphasis on the comfort of the employer. I can see where he is coming from but I do not think that is the case because it would cost more money, at this rate most of the jobs today will be automated by robots in the near future so then why keep the people around? I think there could be more team bonding events or extracurricular events outside of the business hours (hosted by the company or coworker) just because of how much we all miss being around different people. even the use of small conversation will be more of a selling tactic than it is today. Think about it, we’re stuck inside for what feels like forever and someone is taking the time to ask about me and my day, well shoot of course ill buy that vacuum. The need for an internet tactic will be more crucial than ever, not just because of the threat of a 2nd wave, but because people will be more reliant on online shopping rather than going into the car to drive. Even restaurant business I think have this looming grim reaper over them. It’s not because people don’t want to go out, I mean the restaurants I’m sure will be busier then ever for the first couple of months but that’s where door dash or uber eats will come back as a necessity for restaurants if they want to stay competitive.
    I think the most important thing to take away from this is in the last comment by Estes, his last two points. I wholeheartedly agree with his third point, that some changes are here to stay now. Video conferences will only grow to be more important in daily lives. during this experience, I had a little cold and video conference my doctor, and in all honestly, I would rather prefer that than wait for him in the waiting room. However, this would not be ideal because they still need to take my weight, and so on. I think this implication would be astronomical for the smaller things like allergy season or cold season because it would save people so much time especially for the practicing physician. In times like this, it would also keep them safe, now this would not work for dire situations, broken bones, and other things where you need to go to see someone of course. For someone to get allergy medicine it helps. For PTA meetings I think this could be in the next 2 years for most schools. His 2nd point I think is essential to be even considered for a job now. How could a business thrive if these events could happen again? Better yet how could international businesses be any functional if in-person meetings cant take place? To be an asset in the business world then we need to know how to use these video conference apps, to take it a few steps farther people need to know how to use tech to their advantage, one that other people didn’t think of. I think the most important is to start to love the idea of change.

  7. I truly feel like all that is talked about in the news and media outlets is the COVID-19 pandemic. Then again how could we notwhen that is truly our reality at the moment. Every day we wake up and think,”when is this going to end?”, when truly we do not know if the way our lives have changed the past couple of months wil end. Many have lost their jobs and many have moved to remote work. Those that are still out working every day get saluted because they deserve recognition for staying true to their duty even in these difficuly times. I find it inspiring that so many humans have made the choice to come together and sacrifice for the greater goal of helping others. However, as mentioned in the article, this time in quarantine will leave some with PTSD vibes because of the continuous isolation and lack of human contact that has become the norm in our country. This is of course for the greater good and the health of our citizens but that does not make it any less real for some. As Balaji Bondili from the Future of Work group discussed, our homes were not meant for us to stay in them as much as we have had to and our workplaces were not made to be so vacant. There use to be a balance between home and work. At one point, people would be grateful to go to work to escape the craziness that was their home or they’d want to come home after a crazy day at work. Now, there is no seperation and this is hard to adapt to. We have been able to see the demand for software solutions that was never before seen because businesses are trying tofind new ways to be “business as usual”. Due to their workers having to stay home and struggle, companies are beggining to see that their employees are real people with real problems and are trying to become more employee concerned to make their work environment more stable. Whether that is comunication, cleanliness, flexibility, etc., it is nice to know that we are taking a step in the right direction. We are beginning to see more personal connections which is sparking intrigue within businesses that may drive them to continue this remote work envrionment or some form of it.

  8. I like how this article brings up a touchy subject that people may not necessarily like to talk to on their own, or rather about their personal stories. Talking about mental health is very important right now because this has been a drastic change to our lives. Our everyday routine has been broken and now we must try to figure out what to do to replace that. Much of that routine was social interactions, commutes to and from work, and then being burnout from that we would come home and waste the rest of the day on our phones. Now with that out of the way, many people have seen that they have an enormous amount of time on our hands that we thought we did not have before. In essence, we really do have the same amount of time on our hands if you break it down, we just did not notice how much we wasted our days. Now with us noticing this time, many people are starting to feel lonely and upset because of the emptiness that is there now. Personally, I have not felt any of this yet. I am fortunate enough that I have hobbies that I enjoy and that my parents love being involved in helping me with them. My entire close friend group also has Xbox One and we all play together at night. I work in the mornings still and have my homework to do in the middle of the day. I have not felt the loneliness that many are feeling, and I am very fortunate. We must do our best to help those people find their purpose and simply just giving them a call every so often could brighten their day. The hardest thing that I have experienced is just not being able to physically see my friends. I was very used to frequently playing soccer with them on the weekends and hanging out at each other’s houses that it is hard to imagine my life as a young adult without that. Nonetheless, hopefully it will make me appreciate it that much more and grow a stronger bond between my friends once the hysteria is over.

  9. I thought the format of this article was very smart as it has testimonials from some very bright minds on what businesses and organizations will be dropping in the wake of Covid-19 and what they will continue to do after this pandemic is over, I liked this format as the points it made came off pretty clear. The first bright mind we hear from is Chris Stanton from Harvard Business school, his main point is that businesses are using this pandemic as a learning tool for the future and how they can prepare for something like this again in the future as most businesses were not very prepared for this pandemic. The next person we hear from is Geordie Pearson who works for Falfurrias Capital Partners, he explains how companies have been struggling to maintain their culture during these hard times and keep morale up, I can see how this pandemic could cause employees to lack culture or morale for example I usually really care about my job at Lucky Brand Jean and the culture of the company but ever since the store closed I noticed I have lost touch with my job so I understand the point Pearson is trying to make. One bright mind I thought made some great points was Paul Estes from Staffing.com he made 3 important points, the first was related to how we all need to adapt to the remote lifestyle and make sure we block out time specifically dedicated for getting work done, Ive noticed being at home all the time can make you lazy, thats why sometimes I have specific reminders set on my phone reminding me to start my school work. His second point is about about the demand for collaborate technologies like Zoom and Microsoft teams, and how we all need to learn these technologies and train ourselves from a new tech outlook on the world. Estes final point is about how telemedicine is here to stay, I wasn’t sure what telemedicine actually was so I looked it up and its just like what it sounds like, this technology allows doctors to practice remotely which can be very useful during the Covid-19 pandemic, Estes makes the point that telemedicine is here to stay and I completely agree.

  10. For all the talk about the Coronavirus these days, it’s nice to see an article that focuses more on the unseen effects that it is having on us all. People across the country are feeling isolated and boxed in as quarantines have forced us to shut down our lives. Our normal daily routines have been disrupted and we are now spending all day, every day, inside. This presents a great challenge to many people and this article discusses some of those challenges. Mark Barden from eatbigfish brings up a great point that I had not heard of before. He talks about the beginning of the pandemic as a “honeymoon period,” which I believe is a very accurate description. We were all excited when school was cancelled and we got to go home to our families. There would be more free time and all classes were online, which would be interesting. But, Mark talks about how reality sets in and we begin to wonder when it will all end. That’s why we have protests now over reopening the country. People are understandably upset about staying in one place for so long. As we slowly move toward reopening with social distancing, we should think about what little things we missed about normal life.
    Another great point raised by Balaji Bondili was how we use work as a refuge from home (or vice versa) and that is now gone. Mental health may not be the first thing that everyone thinks about during a pandemic but it’s a very important issue. This lack of separation from our place of quarantine may be having detrimental effects on mental health. As mentioned previously, people could be experiencing feelings of being “boxed in” or stuck. Hopefully, when this is all over, we will be able to return to normal life and these temporary feelings of being boxed in stay temporary.

  11. As much as I wanted to graduate in high school as a senior in 2020, I have never been happier than I was a 2019 graduate. Looking back on my senior year some of the best moments were in the last two months of school. We had events lined up one after the other. It honestly just hearts my heart sometimes because of the high school seniors now won’t experience the great things like prom, prom weekend, senior trips, or formal graduation! But hey at the end of the day at least it wasn’t me! But I’m using the school as an example to compare to the organizations in the article. The main message of this article was to hear the perspectives of workers in organizations and how things are different, and you need to adapt accordingly. I am sure that EVERYONE has experienced some type of change during Covid but the first thing that came to mind when I thought of change was how different that high school experience is now compared to last year.
    I found the experiences and the perspectives of the people included in the post very interesting and extremely relatable. For instance, Gordie Pearson from Falfurrias Capital Partners states that “What we’ve seen is that companies are struggling to maintain their culture, and keep their teams engaged and in high spirits given what’s going on. This has placed a lot of emphasis on the fact that, in the long-term, there’s a need for better commitment to culture than we had in the past and becoming more employee-focused. This can take the form of better commitments to safety, cleanliness, etc. even if that comes with some detriment to productivity levels.” I find it hard to stay motivated if I am being honest. It’s something about not being in the physical presence of others that doesn’t motivate me enough. Although, this is something that I am working on and maybe a skill to add to on my resume.

  12. After reading only the first paragraph of the article, I resonated with it. The author, John Winsor, introduces the article with the idea that everyone everywhere is dealing with the same isolation and loneliness as everyone else. With mental outlets like churches and gyms closed, it can be easy to see why people have building anxiety and tension more than ever at times like these. However, he focuses on how because of this, new standards of “normal” have quickly been introduced. Winsor writes about different company’s specific business techniques that they plan to integrate or change because of the events of Covid19. It is not surprising to read that the majority of these revolve around ideas like “being better prepared for the future” and “better commitments to safety, cleanliness”. While these may seem like obvious tactics to integrate into a business post pandemic, they are still important to take note of. One thing that I found interesting was these companies plans to implement remote and online work as part of their everyday work system. A lot of the representatives for these companies specified that having their employees work from home, online, would say them both time and space. Many employees have proven over the past weeks that they can still maintain their productivity while working from home. Some companies objected to this, believing that it is not in the best interest of the employee to have them work from home. This tends to force employees to remove the boundaries between work and home and could lead them to have an imbalance between the two. Overall, it seems that many companies are using this time as a learning experience, and hope to become more efficient in the long run with the tactics they are devising during times like these

  13. I like that the article mentioned our lack of outlets. When I was on campus I found that when I became unproductive I would chance my scenery to get back in track. I might move between the library, the cove, and my room throughout the day. I also had cheerleading throughout the week and went to the gym on a frequent basis. This gave my day structure. I find these days that I am missing third-floor library more than I thought I would be. Personally, I am the kind of person who does my best work in a silent environment. I have an Italian family and live in a pretty small house. My grandpa doesn’t like to wear his hearing aids. These days my alarm clock is hearing The Game Show Network on the TV downstairs. I share a room with my sister. During the day, pretty much every room in my house is occupied one or more people. At the beginning of quarantine, I was going for runs and walks just to get out of the house. Unfortunately, with finals coming up I have succumbed to quarantine blues and really all I do is alternate between homework and Netflix.

    The article spoke about how the norms we were used to before COVID-19 may not stay the same once we return to society. After reading the quotes of the bright minds in the article I’m interested to see their predictions in action. Simon Chen brought up the possibility of an increase in tiger teams, groups of specialist brought in to asses specific tasks. This got me thinking about how social media was barely an industry 20 years ago but can be someone’s entire career now. With the existence of media managers, there are people whose sole job is to make sure a companies Instagram looks good. I wonder if after the lockdown begin to lift, there will be teams who help companies get back on their feet. Large corporations already have plans for how to come back after all this. Small businesses may look for individuals who can turn their business into the functioning micro media company they need to become. In all honesty, this could be a great side gig. I could probably revamp a local pizza shop’s online presence from my phone. There may be a large and open market for individuals or tiger teams who can modernize small businesses.

    https://www.lucidchart.com/blog/what-is-a-tiger-team

  14. This pandemic has definitely sparked the beginning of a whole new movement surrounding the way we use technology. Learning the alternative options available to us that make commuting and production easier whether its conducting education or business is something we should explore more for the future. This pandemic may bring many changes in everyone’ daily lives, habits, and how we conduct many practices. Being isolated has forced us to connect with many individuals online, and engaging in many activities to keep our productivity and businesses afloat during this rough time. The well being of employees is very important during times like these considering some financial situations and mental health weighing heavy on the ability to provide for your family. Technology gives us the luxury to still maintain productivity in a safe manner that would not have been available a decade or two ago. Sitting in an office has transitioned to sitting at a home office, and has brought upon the realization of what we could truly accomplish while being able to manage these meetings and other works that needs attending to. This article gives us many positives we can take form this pandemic and how we can utilize them. Many of the less fortunate companies who are faced with significant struggles may find themselves to cut costs in many different places to maximize revenue. We may see this trend become normalized all across the countries especially in family spending. The unnecessary charges of recreation activities may be minimized by many families due to the cautious habits this pandemic has brought upon. I do agree with the article that this separation of civilization may have many post effects due to being disconnected for such a long time without ways to vent or get stuff off your mind. We may learn to not take these connections in life for granted. We aren’t sure what the future holds but change is evident. How we consume, how we conduct business, how we treat loved ones will be impacted and hopefully for the better. This shift to internet-based lifestyles presents both advantages, challenges, and potentially a detriment to the education and business communities.

  15. This article provides the smart outlooks businesses have adopted since the COVID-19 pandemic. After reading this article, I was impressed to find that my mostly negative thoughts about the impact the pandemic placed on businesses turned to many positive thoughts about the opportunities that the pandemic actually provided businesses. Yes I said it, the pandemic actually helped our world in some major ways.

    While the pandemic has caused many hardships such as anxiety, depression some form of PTSD due to factors such as loneliness or job loss there is an upside. Since public places where people go to de-stress, socialize and work on their physical and mental health such as gyms or faith groups are closed, a lot of us are forced to do our healing online. Many people are socializing online and sharing their feelings more than ever so they can feel supported and less alone. The same can be said for business. Professionals are interacting with one another more than ever, because meetings and so forth are done online so they are forced to learn how to communicate more clearly and effectively than ever to ensure that they are understanding one another before proceeding with their work. It is not as simple as walking over to someone’s desk and reading their body language and discussing matters in person. Businessmen and women have to become more intuitive to understand how to be successful from home.

    Winsor discusses some of the insight he gained from several businessmen about their experience while working during the pandemic. Chris Stanton of Harvard Business School, stated that the pandemic has made companies better planners of the future. No one could have predicted this pandemic and its impact on the world. As a result, companies learned that they should always plan ahead for the future in case something that could jeopardize the success of their company, such as a pandemic occurs again. Another businessman, Geordie Pearson of Falfurrias Capital Partners discussed how organizations are having great difficulty trying to keep their culture alive and their teams motivated given the pandemic. This has shifted a greater focus to be placed on organizations creating a stronger devotion to culture than they have in the past and also placed more attention on their employees work satisfaction. As a result of work culture and employee satisfaction being a greater priority, organizations have adopted better commitments to work safety, cleanliness and so forth, so that as employees start returning to the office in the future they will be exposed to a fresh work environment to boost mood and productivity.

    As part of the mental health struggle the pandemic has brought on, Jeff Carbuck of 10EQS explains that the transition to work online has lead to more personal conversations. He states that this can make a big difference over time in people continuing more in depth conversations in the future. As far as a companies success, it won’t show up in sales numbers or productivity metrics instantly, but in terms of employees health and well-being over time, it will have a positive impact which will only benefit companies. He explains small is the new big. In other words, being alone instead of being surrounded by people at work has actually led many to feel less alone in their homes then they felt at work due to deeper conversations stemming from their relaxed environment at home and also due to the craving of interaction from being quarantined.

    After reading this article, I realized the permanent changes that are resulting from the pandemic. The pandemic has forced people as individuals and employees to take better care of their mental and physical health by finding healthy outlets such as having deeper conversations with others online or on the phone, working out from home, eating better and planning for the future. I think it’s normal that a lot of us live in the moment and do not always plan for the future as well as we should. The same can be said for companies. However the pandemic has broadened everyone’s horizons both personally and professionally to become better listeners, ask more questions, have deeper conversations, think before we act, take care of ourselves because it will show through our personal and professional life and lastly become better planners of the future by staying on top of things and asking ourselves more questions on how we can improve in various areas at home and while working.

  16. It is an interesting discussion on the impact Covid-19 has had in workplaces and how some of these changes may turn out to be the new normal and adopted permanently. From this discussion, it is clear that some of the measures adopted are a strain to the businesses and may be discarded as soon as the pandemic is declared over. One of such is the rules on social distancing. For some businesses such restaurants and entertainment places, this change is really a strain for the business as it makes them not handle as many clients as it would, were there not be social distancing, and hence less revenues. I feel this is one change that many businesses can’t wait to discard.

    However, to other businesses, this rule on social distancing have led them to adopting new technologies that they may want to maintain permanently. For example, holding of meetings through video conferencing may turn out to be a really good convenience for many businesses especially the ones that aspire to adopt remote working and flexible working schedules. The adoption of this technology by many businesses will see adoption of new human resources rules that govern employment contracts such as remote working being fully embraced. This will in turn alter many aspects of organization cultures as it may mean less person – to –person interactions between employees in the workplace. While this reduction of such interactions may reduce cohesiveness between employees in a workplace, it may also have positive effects such as having reduced work place ethical conflicts between employees such as sexual abuse, acts of discrimination, bullying and so on. I therefore feel that a lot has changed and whereas many businesses get negatively affected by it, others will get positive effects if they adopt some of these measures permanently.

  17. After this corona pandemic, people are going to change the way they live their life entirely. This will not only affect the people only but the entire culture itself and the way we work together as a society. The world as we know it will change dramatically in many different ways. A lot of these people from the pandemic will have PTSD or loneliness or even feel burned out. Especially during this time, there are a lot fewer outlets for people to turn to because everything has been put online. Instead of us thinking who we are in different situations but thinking about what I would instead. This also brings into effect a new effect of us being able to adapt to new challenges and give them long-term planning to ensure every practice is being met. A lot of employers are thinking of what they have done in the past during this pandemic and are planning for the future. A lot of the problems for teams is to keep their culture and ensure the team is engaged and in high spirits. These companies are switching the company’s culture and becoming more of a company focused company. The employees will look at his as better security to keep the job and feel safer for their commitment. The online environment has actually led to an increase in making time to have personal conversations. A lot of people are doing things they never had time to do before. A lot of people’s time is spent connecting with people to ensure the personal connection is very high. Although some great things come from this pandemic there are a lot of bad things that come from this.
    I believe a lot of people will be affected by this overall and life will not be the same entirely. This pandemic will not allow us to live the same life we used to live. The world is going to change with many businesses chosen what they should do in specific meetings and other environments they used to choose. Even the way people visit a store might change as we know it with a lot of mobile order and delivery. This pandemic will always have people not want to be around people if they do not have to be so a lot of situations will prevent the people to contact.

  18. It is no secret that this on-going pandemic has changed our lives and will continue to change our lives for years to come. The sudden shift to remote work and remote learning has had a significant impact on us. Within what felt like minutes, we from socializing in our own normal manners to complete isolation. Granted most of us are probably staying home with family and loved ones. Suddenly, there was no work-place chatter or the energy of being at school and working on an assignment in a lounge. Overnight a lot of our external stimuli were replaced with the quietness of being at home. With the shift to virtual work and schooling, we rely heavily on platforms to connect us and allow us to being able accomplish assignments and tasks virtually with colleagues and fellow students. I am grateful to be facing this pandemic in an age where there is technology available to aid and assist us through it. But it would be a lie if we believed this pandemic would not affect us at all. Everyone who I have spoken to over the past few months, at first were excited to being able to work from home but anxious at the same time as to the state of the world, and that slowly progressed to a negative feeling of working from home and being home. We are left without any outlets to deal with daily stressors or preventing burnout. There is no relief and it’s taking on a toll on everyone’s’ mentality, whether we care to admit it or not. Just yesterday, my family and I went over to visit our extended family. Our family member would be traveling in the following days to return home and continue to receive their medical treatments which have been delayed due the flight delays. Just a few days ago, they found out there was a plane taking off from JFK airport to Turkey as long as both countries did not cancel. In our culture, it is custom to visit those going on vacation or an extended period of time. While we were at the house, applying social distancing as best as we could, I kept counting down to the time I anticipated we would be leaving. The hours dragged on and I grew restless. Before the pandemic, I would be the first advocate to stay later and to even stay over for the night. But, I was scratching at the walls, almost in tears in wanting to go home. I’ve been self-isolating for about 2 ½ months now, and that family outing felt too much. It was too long, too many people, too much socializing and I did not know how to do it. If this drags on for longer, I don’t know how we’ll ever get back to pre-pandemic life or if we’ll even get there. It is going to require change and the topics of this article is a welcomed one. Things will have to change, whether it is new strategies to boost employee morale, focusing more on employees, perhaps limiting the dependency on technology, but we will have to adapt to the degree of PTSD we all will have developed by the time things return to “normal”.

  19. The effect of COVID is experienced by everyone. Such unforeseen pandemic put the entire world on hold. The article “Change Is The New Normal: What Are Organizations Abandoning Since COVID-19 And What ill They Not Continue To Do Once Things Return To ‘Normal?’” is a revelation of what is to come to post COVID-19. It is evident that things will not return to normal due to the vast losses that existed. People lost their lives, love ones and most of all friends. The vacuum has been established and people can not turn back the hands of time. There have been drastic organizational changes due to COVID-19. Many organizations are forced to change adjust some policies just to ensure operational effectiveness. Businesses are also affected and are forced to change the way they operate. On the other hand, employees may have to accept these changes that will occur. It is a hard thing to be doing something for a long period of time and it turns out that it has to be changed. Some employees may also have difficulty in adapting to these changes that will occur. The idea of things returning to normal as noted earlier is very hard. Yesterday is gone, it is time for people to accept the reality of times and face the future. Life has to go one no matter what the situation is.

  20. Before the pandemic, I think that organizations were already on the path to allowing employees to work from home. Advances in technology have given new light to working from home and made it seem more realistic. Unfortunately, I think the pandemic forced working from home upon organizations that weren’t ready. There was no way an organization could have predicted the pandemic and have a plan set in place. Therefore, when the pandemic hit there was a huge panic amongst organization leaders and employees. Going from in-person to on-line work is a huge transition and with extensive training I think it could work. However, there were not a lot of organizations that had training for how to conduct on-line procedures. Speaking from experience, I can say that I have not enjoyed the move from in-person to on-line. It has caused a lot of unnecessary stress and confusion. I am in college and most of my professors were not prepared to go online. It wasn’t their fault, but now organizations, like my college, know they need to be more prepared in the digital age. In the article, Jeff Carbuck states that, “the move to online for us has actually led to a lot more personal conversations”. I have to disagree with Mr. Carbuck’s statement. I think that the move to on-line made people less interactive and more likely to go through the motions. It was hard for me to make a connection with a person through a computer screen. I wasn’t emotionally available and quite frankly I was bored.
    I don’t think enough people are talking about the emotional and mental toll staying at home for an elongated period of time is doing to people. Piggy backing off of what Balaji Bondili said in the article, there are people that use work as a refuge from home or home as a refuge from work. Now they don’t have that refuge because they are stuck at home. I know that I enjoyed getting out of the house and going to class, but I also enjoyed getting home from class and relaxing. I was able to balance my schedule in a way that made me happy. Once the pandemic hit that all changed. It was hard for me to look forward to things because I felt like every day was the same. So, I think it’s important for organizations to make sure their employees don’t feel this way. In the article, Paul Estes talked about how organizations need to change the way they work when they move to on-line. I think this is crucial because an organization will not work the same on-line as it does in-person. I think this was probably the biggest downfall organizations had when moving to on-line. In order for on-line organizations to work, changes need to be made. Finally, I believe there needs to be an understanding amongst organizations that this was forced and to give everyone involved a break.
    Teresa Richardson
    richardsote@rider.edu

  21. Our world is a forever changing place and more than ever before, our world has changed in such a short amount of time. COVID-19 has shook the world and the things it changed are things we never saw coming. Everyone wears masks, whether you are going out to eat, going to the grocery store, or going to use a public restroom. It changed the economy, making struggling business change there forms of sales, deliveries and efficiency for others. The main focus and the biggest change COVID-19 affected is the way people work, especially those who work in offices/buildings. All of these three very important ways of life and what has been affected most by COVID-19 will forever be changed and will not go back to the way things were before this pandemic. Going out with your mask on is something that will be changed forever. No one is going to go out without a mask because they not only want to keep their germs away from you, but rather want to keep your germs away from them. As long as COVID-19 poses as a threat, masks will always be worn and why stop after this pandemic ends. People will feel safer wearing their masks after this is over and that will be a common circumstance we should prepare for. The economy has changes forever as well, sales and stocks of online businesses such as Amazon have sky rocketed and it is because of the convenience. No one is going to want to do their shopping in person because they would rather stay away from one another and by shopping online, they avoid this instance. The reason Amazon and other online companies are doing great is because no one wants to be near anyone when getting items or groceries they need. This will lead to most people wanting to do their shopping online, leaving stores to survive, but barely. The business world has no forever changed. Working from home has given so many benefits to these companies that used to work in offices. Workers are working more hours because they get up from their bed and turn on their computer, making it more convenient to get up early and stay up late. Another great impact is “the move to online for us has actually led to a lot more personal conversations.”(Carbuk). People are talking face to face, improving relationships and speaking skills in the office world. Businesses/offices have never been working more effective than now and this is going to change the working world. People are going to want to keep working this way as workers have never been working harder and their performances are great. COVID-19 has caused many changes that are going to affect the world as we know it and these changes are now going to be our new normal.

  22. The overall idea in this article is how working from home has affected human interaction. There are both good and bad sides to this. People now have the time to talk to friends on the phone or spend quality time with their family. At the start of the pandemic, people saw working from home as a nice break from the office, but as weeks turned to months, people’s morale started dropping and it became harder to stay productive, especially with the mental strain it put on everyone.

    People say we will come out of this pandemic with a new normal. Unfortunately, I believe that is true and that the new normal will include more work activities done virtually or from home if employers see that to be the more cost effective way. But if we continue this way of life online, it will further affect our work morale and motivation to get work done. People need to work around people and in groups. Balaji Bondili said it best in this article, “people used to go to work as a refuge from home or came home as a refuge from work, that is no longer there.” It is harder for people to separate work and home life. It is difficult to have that balance when it has just turned into a constant combination of the two. Another point made in this article was by Paul Estes, who points out that one of the new normals will be telemedicine. I can see how this would have both positive and negatives going forward. Virtual doctor visits are beneficial because it risks getting more people sick, but at the same time, the doctor is unable to give you a proper examination. This will more than likely end in a simple “how are you feeling” conversation that is not substantial enough to properly diagnose someone. Although there are predictions made in this article about what our new normal will look like, I think we would be better off going back to our “old” normal.

    Several years ago, there was talk about how people who work for themselves or are freelancers, would choose to leave their house and go to public work spaces. People preferred this because even though their work was individual, they liked the ability to work around other people and chat with strangers if they needed to work out an idea or brainstorm. Upon looking this up, I found an article posted by Harvard Business Review, where large companies like Facebook and Samsung stressed the importance of working around other people and in groups. They said that some of the best ideas come from “hallway and cafeteria discussions” and that “the most creative ideas aren’t going to come while sitting in front of your monitor.” Although we have seen the majority of people able to adapt to working online and from home, I do not think it is something that needs to be continued. In order to maintain productivity and with a positive mental health, going back to a normal work environment will be beneficial to the majority of workers.

  23. The Covid-19 outbreak has caused lots of hardships and has led to lots of change in our world. Lots of organizations are faced with questions on how they will operate when we return to some sense of normal. New ways to operate have arose during these trying times and it will be very interesting to see what companies will do. According to Carin Knoop from the Harvard Business School, “we may all come out of the COVID-19 experience with some form of PTSD and loneliness and burnout.” Carin also mentions how there were no gyms or faith groups to help cope with some of the harsh effects of this outbreak. I found this very interesting because I also was concerned about other people’s mental health during the peak of the pandemic when we were all stuck inside. It definitely got lonely for some people who were not surrounded by family and friends. The author of this article asked some leaders of organizations what they have learned and observed throughout this whole pandemic. Geordie Pearson of Falfurrias Capital Partners mentioned how companies have “struggled to maintain their culture and keep spirts high.” Pearson learned that there needs to be more of an emphasis on company culture going forward as we make our way through the pandemic. Jeff Carbuck of 10EQS mentioned how the move online led to “more personal conversations between employees.” He believes that this will lead to more company growth in the future. I found the quotes from all the leaders very interesting because they all had very different opinions. The pandemic had some positive and some negative outcomes on these organizations. I think there are definitely ways for companies to grow and improve during these hard times. The companies can get to know each other better and can improve their technology skills. Everyone not just these companies have had to adapt and learn how to find new ways to be successful during these tough times. As a college student, I have had to adapt to online learning. When we got sent home in the Spring it was not easy adapting to the online learning. After a few weeks, I got used to it and found ways to get the most out of my education. What I learned most through this pandemic is to stay positive. There were plenty of days during the lockdown that I was feeling lonely as the author mentioned happened to many people. But slowly we have begun to take steps as a country to return to normal. The new normal may be very different but when there are no restrictions it is going to be a great time.

  24. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses and society function permanently. The move to a mostly online workspace has allowed people to focus more on themselves rather than being consumed by work. Working in an office is laborious and time consuming. Doing the same work at home allows people to think of their own wants or needs. Workers are viewed more as individuals than as parts of a machine. On one hand, this self reflection can better people’s mental health in the long run. On the other hand, remaining in one place can make people go stir crazy. Removing people from the typical working environment strips away what concealed issues they may have with themselves that working disguised. Whether the effects are positive or negative, I think sensitivity and recognition of mental health will be heavily incorporated in the new normal. Individuals will eventually shift to taking steps to be happy with themselves, rather than just focusing on what may put them in the best working position. Carin Knoop, from Harvard Business School, conducted research stating that many will experience PTSD from the pandemic, which would need to be addressed. While the normalization of mental health awareness may not make a large impact immediately, a continuous development will over time benefit society.
    Society has been forced to be significantly more based in technology. While technology and the functionality of society were already intertwined before the pandemic, it has increased immensely out of necessity. Group meetings and larger events that would typically be held in person will most likely remain remote. It has become normal to stay apart from people and that will not change as time progresses. The higher demand for technology comes with a larger group of people understanding how to use it. It is almost impossible now to be a functioning member of society without being able to access and understand digital platforms. Students in as low as elementary school can not access an education without these technological platforms. The higher need for technology will likely bring about faster advancement in the field as well. The new normal will be a technology engulfed world. While people may become more advanced, they will also become more isolated. This coincides with the need for better mental health awareness, as isolation can cause loneliness. The new normal is an advanced but lonely world.

  25. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US, and the quarantine protocols really started to be put in place, everyone’s lives changed drastically, and nobody expected it. Soon after, ideas about a “new normal” began to circulate in businesses and communities nationwide. While nobody can truly say what the “new normal” will be as of yet, the business world has some definite changes coming. This article highlights some of these important changes.

    One common thread throughout many of the responses in the article centers around employee wellness and company culture. Balaji Bondili, Senior Manager at Deloitte, describes the separation between work and home, and the need people have on that. Today, with most of our lives being remote and quarantine protocols confining people to their homes, that separation is easily becoming lost. Paul Estes from staffing.com expressed similar ideas to that. Jeff Carbuck from 10EQS discussed the personal needs of employees to have more personal connections with their fellow employees. Stay-at-home orders have caused a lack of these connections overall, so people are seeking more of those connections, including in the workplace. Geordie Pearson, from Falfurrias Capital Partners, highlighted a shift in businesses models to be more culture-focused for the future.

    Compounding all of these ideas, the bottom line is quite simple: company culture is changing to be more focused on employee wellness in and out of the workplace. Allowing for more personal breaks during the workday allows an employee to step away from their work and clear their head, coming back ready to continue working. In March, Business News Daily posted an article titled “Working From Home Increases Productivity”. In this post, writer Sammi Caramela found that “telecommuters worked ‘1.4 more days every month'” based off of a study from Airtasker. However, a Harvard study found that 54% of remote workers surveyed felt overly stressed. In the end, those who felt overly stressed were procrastinating more, and struggling to maintain the essential work-life balance. Just like in this Forbes article, taking breaks and managing personal connections with fellow employees and outside friends were essential to not only better mental wellness, but also better productivity. Going back to Pearson’s point about company culture, having businesses that are focusing more on building relationships among its employees and ensuring that its employees are obtaining that crucial work-life balance is more beneficial in the long-run. Working remotely is going to become more prominent in the future of business. Companies of all sizes are learning that they can be just as successful without having as many people physically being in the office. I myself have seen it firsthand in my past internship this summer with a large corporate company. With that though, comes the need for companies to make sure that their employees are happy and healthy, and ultimately productive.

    https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/15259-working-from-home-more-productive.html

  26. The age of the pandemic is upon us. Back in March, as Covid-19 reared its ugly head in NY and NJ, many of the bigger companies had to turn to remote work, and the smaller shops including restaurants and hair salons had to become creative and adapt. I work for a small mom and pop shop, where for years my boss thought that remote work would not be possible. But we adapted. Restaurants in my area started relying on take-out orders and the more creative ones started doing grocery deliveries, as Instacart became booked for weeks out.

    This shows that we can adapt through creativity, and letting go of old beliefs. Indeed, it was hard not to see family and friends. However, since I was not running my daughter back and forth to activities, I had more time to call to call my mother on the phone and have real discussions. We probably talked more than we did pre-pandemic. I also was able to renew my relationship with my husband and daughter, as we were able to spend more time at home together and although the world was suffering around us, we found solace in this. My daughter found her comfort place as well through technology facetiming with groups of her friends. At the age of nine, we had never let her do this before, but wanted to adapt to the new normal. And by allowing her to spend more time on devices, it prepared her for this upcoming school year, which is now virtual.

    My husband works for a big corporation, that was sent home to work remotely as well. They were aware of the mental and emotional challenges that their employees would struggle with, and tried to keep ahead of the game. The CEO of the company, did a video newsletter to the employees weekly, a wellness fund was established, and zoom trivia nights and happy hours were setup by department heads.

    Before the pandemic, we were a society of running from place to place, whether it be work, school, children’s activities, or social gatherings. I know for myself, I usually felt as if I didn’t have a moment to breathe. Many of us so busy that we were never able to enjoy the present moment. But the pandemic, has taught me that living in the present moment and enjoying the life I have been given is of the utmost importance. I believe that now that companies, have seen that we can effectively work remotely, employees may be given for freedom to work flexible hours, so that they can enjoy the moments too.

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