We have all heard the phrase “the new normal” more times than we can probably remember. It has created a lot of confusion, and in many cases, it has instilled a sense of fear, so what does the new normal mean? And specifically, how are businesses reacting?
Two to three months ago, many organizations were forced to introduce remote workspaces in a short amount of time, and while many organizations had been implementing a remote structure for the past decade, this emergency shocked those organizations that were unaware of the shift in progress. Essential employees are now required to wear masks in most places, and they must stay 6 feet apart to avoid the spread of COVID-19. We are seeing more reminders in workplace bathrooms to clean our hands, and employers are urging employees to keep clean workspaces, and lead healthy lifestyles to maintain a strong immune system.
While many industries have had to adjust their focus, no industry has outright left their space. Many companies pivoted in response to the pandemic, to offer necessary resources and meet their bottom line. We have heard of distilleries distributing sanitizer, textile retailers creating masks, plastic manufactures assembling PPE, and more. While the focus may have changed, businesses have shown great adaptability while maintaining their brand and continuing operations with a common goal.
While assessing the current climate, it is important to review how we have adjusted in response to calamities throughout history as well.
Crises have had a way of impacting the status quo for centuries. We have experienced a new normal may times throughout history. Rosie the Riveter, the World War II female icon is a symbol of a new era of working women. As automobiles became popular, travel related deaths skyrocketed prompting the implementation of seat belts and airbags. The Great Depression resulted in better financial education, stricter credit limits, and harsher consequences for irresponsible lending.
Fact of the matter is, our world is constantly changing, and we have proven that we are capable of adapting. This may be a new normal, but it will not be the last new normal we see. It is important to remember that humans are resilient when we work together to address obstacles that threaten us, and we will continue to persevere.