Respect at Work
|Posted on 27 April, 2020 at 1:15|
I am one of the lucky ones - I am feeling quite comfortable with this ISO situation. I was already used to working from home and thanks to the promise of Job Keeper lessening the pressure of no current income, I have been enjoying myself, upgrading some on-line qualifications, embracing morning yoga and just staying home with plenty of pleasant distractions.
I have gratitude and know that I am lucky to feel this way, it is a much different situation for many others; I have not had to fear for my health or grieve a loved one, I am able to pay my bills and feed my family and I am safe and loved in my isolation.
There is certainty that this will end - when is a question that none of us can answer - but it will end and what then?
I find myself thinking about what our new post pandemic normal might look like. I imagine people coming back together in workplaces and social settings, each with their own story of sacrifice and hardship. Every story will be significant to that person and their family and no one story can or should be compared to another. For the parties living their story, any hardship suffered is theirs and will be significant to them, it should not be judged or lessened by another's.
I imagine a situation not dissimilar to high schoolers coming back to school after the Christmas break. Some may have kept in touch, others may have completely isolated, choosing to stay away from social media. Some friendships may fall back into easy comfort and companionship, others may be awkward or distant. Employees who previously embraced and rolled with change may now be anxious and vice versa. There is a potential for gossip to increase, new cliques to form and feelings of paranoia and distrust to heighten.
Some workplaces have been able to easily transition to working from home and regular zoom catch ups, providing support, security and transparency to their employees. Others have not been so lucky, there will be employees who have felt unsupported by their workplace during the period of isolation and there will be employees faced with uncertainty about the future of their employment and their path going forward.
In our 'new workplace normal' the importance of putting people first has never been as important. Creating mentally safe workplace environments will be crucial, prioritising communication and transparency (as much as possible) is going to be paramount to maintaining positive workplace cultures.
Thankfully, there are many resources appearing to assist and support workplaces through this time, this is the time to research, prioritise and implement. Here are a couple of links worth looking at: