On 17 May (if all goes to plan) the government will further ease Covid restrictions, allowing us to meet inside houses, pubs and restaurants, as well as meeting in larger groups outside.
Whilst this is undoubtedly a positive step towards restoring day-to-day life as we once knew it, not everyone is equally keen.
The barrage of phrases like “socially distanced” or “hands, face, space” over the past year means that the idea of returning to a life of busy offices, handshakes, and meeting rooms might make many people nervous.
Whilst many people are desperate to return to a normal life, others remain hesitant, so getting the balance right for your business could be the key to a successful 2021 and beyond.
So, how can you successfully manage the easing of restrictions?
1. Understand the changing attitudes to work
While not everyone may have benefited from the “work from home” explosion, most would agree it offers some advantages.
Greater flexibility, less travel, and cute pets on Zoom calls are just some of the bonuses to both workers and employers. Research suggests that a hybrid of home- and office-based work may be the future, aiming to offer the best of both worlds.
A quick survey or check-in to gauge opinions on returning to the office is also a really important tool, to ensure that you’re actively listening to the preferences of individuals in your business.
After such a long time, it’s natural that many people are concerned about the re-opening of society. Simply sharing your worries can be really powerful in easing any anxieties, and you may also discover that you are far from alone. Focusing on reassuring other people can also be a great way to get out of your own head.
Either way, letting others know if you’re not quite ready for big events can help to manage expectations and prompt useful conversations.
3. Take it slow
Despite positive signals, the reality is that large events and full offices are still a way off returning as they once did. The chances are we will all have time to gradually ease back into the swing of things without us even realising that we’re doing so.
The important thing is not to feel pressured into racing back to a pre-Covid existence before you, or others, are ready.
4. Look out for other people
If you’re ready and raring to be released from lockdown, it’s worth being mindful that not everyone is in the same boat.
For example, continuing provisions for remote meetings going forwards may help your clients to feel more comfortable – and could be attractive to new ones.
5. Embrace the change
While trying to re-adapt, it’s important not to forget the lessons that the pandemic has taught us. For example, continuing to make use of technology in your business in areas such as communication, productivity, and (of course) marketing will ensure that you continue to evolve.
It’s also important to recognise the changing habits of clients, whose priorities will almost certainly have been affected by the events of the past year. Conducting client surveys could be a great way to make sure that you’re meeting their needs and values as effectively as possible as things move forwards.
Let us ease your workload
Trying to readjust to normality whilst worrying about growing your business can be stressful, which is where we can help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300 to see how we can help you to support your clients moving forwards.