Social Distancing Is Ending

Barring a second wave, Australia seems to be on the path to normality again.  We are dropping the limits on gatherings, opening schools, borders and generally easing restrictions on movement.  Importantly, we are starting to remove social distancing regulations.

Social distancing, whilst it addressed the immediate needs of the pandemic has created some problems of its own.

Residual Fear

Social distancing and the threat of a runaway pandemic engulfed Australia.  We donned masks, kept our distancing and only did essential things like buying food.  The media played to this with constant updates on “the curve”, death tolls and exotic ways the COVID-19 virus was developing around the world.

Fear was ruling our decision making and we changed our routines really fast.

However warranted that fear response was, it has left us with a population that is by and large now frightened to regather, to reconnect, to use public transport and to work from an office again.

Slow Return To New Normal

Many people and companies that enabled Work-From-Home found that work communications with colleagues continued without too much negative effect. 

They saw that most of their normal work could be done remotely with the help of technology and they got comfortable with their 3-second commute in tracksuit pants.

As restrictions ease, people have wanted to see and physically connect with family and friends.  They’re not in a rush to get back to the office because they remained mostly in communication with work colleagues.

There is also the residual fear that going to work in close confines and “normal” proximity is placing themselves and their loved ones at risk.

Ramifications

What does all this fear, distancing and reluctance to go to the office mean?

  1. More stress amongst staff.
  2. Office work will be less popular and work-from-home more popular.
  3. Teamwork and collaboration opportunities that come from being face to face will be more purposeful and curated.
  4. Teamwork and collaboration opportunities will have to account for new health and safety expectations.  People trust people less.
  5. In-person events, meetings, conferences and trade shows will likewise need to account for a lower trust threshold.
  6. Incentives at the individual and team level will need rethinking

A return to normal is coming, but when we get there it will have changed.  It will be: a New Normal.

An Angel On Your Shoulder

If you need to navigate this changed work environment, changed events and incentives environment, it might all feel a bit overwhelming.  But, you can take comfort that 3 Minute Angels is also navigating the same issues.  We can help you in the following ways:

  1. Organise a return to work massage (Free).  This doubles as a way to remove the fear associated with proximity and a reward for coming to the office.
  2. Adapt any corporate events from focusing on frequency to focusing on experience, memorability and connection with event attendees and your message.  Angels are great at delivering a message with a massage.
  3. Recalibrate your employee incentive budget to include more work from home incentives.  3 Minute Angels have virtual products and massage products that shift each recipients mood from “stressed” to “divine”.

 

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