Reframing the New Normal
None of us have a crystal ball to determine what life may be like after the Covid-19 crisis. In the present, life looks a little like this - We’re on zoom calls every day. The kids have gotten their own tablet devices and we are still binge watching Netflix.
Many of us have broken our relationship with the news as we are fed up with the constant negativity - day in and day out. We are all being more selective than ever in what we read and watch.
With school closures and homeschooling now part of the daily agenda, the traditional 9-5 "office" may be over. Working parents are having to rethink their traditional working week and finding a more creative way to manage work, childcare and household responsibilities win an effort to simply - get the job done.
Our iPhones and iPads are constantly telling us that our screen time is on the rise, but maybe our iPhones don’t know that there is a global pandemic on right now. Our devices have been important portals for keeping our businesses going, for enabling our children’s education online and keeping us from remembering we are not alone. This is not a time for parents to beat themselves up about anything or feel guilty about our screen time. These are really extraordinary, unusual circumstances and we don’t expect anyone — even before Covid-19 — to follow rules 100 percent.
There’s no way yet to quantify the impact weeks or months of extra screen time could have. However, everyone should perhaps just go with what they feel is right for you and your family. There are concerns over teens and the quantity of social media they are consuming in an effort to protect their mental health. Where possible, experts recommend teens should spend no longer than one hour a day on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, which we know is hard to control. Especially when we know and understand that the feeling of being connected with friends and family has felt more important than ever.
As many of us now start to return to a different working environment which are now gradually re-opening, some of us are unsure what to expect. Business owners have been under pressure to re-think open floor offices, considering staggered shifts, and hybrid remote/in-office working environments. In some cases, temperature checks upon entry may become part of your daily commute. In any event, your return to work may be different and those who are trying to make the return to work possible - it is no easy task.
For now, while we wait for Covid-19 testing and vaccines, we must embrace the new normal. Perhaps being stuck at home for months during the pandemic has helped to give us clarity about what things make us feel happy. While I don’t think the post Covid-19 work will be wildly different, I think we will come out the other side as different people.
People with deeper connections and a better grasp on what really matters in life. Through this pandemic, we have seen who really has our back and how much love and empathy we have for each other and our work colleagues. Whatever the next few months brings for you, I wish you good luck and I hope you find a way to embrace the new normal.