Let’s get back to work?


If there’s a singular theme to the past week’s national discourse about COVID-19, it seems to be: Back to work!

This is a crucial conversation. Livelihoods–and lives–depend on evolving our work-from-home solutions.

Considering this next phase is encouraging. Right?

The light at the end of the tunnel has started to flicker. At the same time, we’re still in that tunnel. Somewhere far enough from the end that it’s pretty dark.

For many, the last month has been catastrophic. For everyone it’s been at least disruptive. So of course we want to get to a better place.

For some of us though, looking ahead might not be the best way to do that.

When I noticed last week’s Harvard Business Review email titled, “Preparing for a Return to Work”, anxiety punched me in the gut. It’s not that I don’t want things to return to a more normal version of normal. It’s that addressing what’s next feels like another heavy layer of change to consider–in a time of extreme change.

And that’s one way to look at it.

Another perspective suggests that predicting what’s coming is helpful. Because the earlier we look ahead, the more opportunity we have to prepare. An opportunity that we can always choose to ignore until it serves us well. Like when stores start selling sandals just as winter arrives, it’s up to each of us to decide when to get ready for warmer days, and when to stay cozy in the current environment.

Wherever we are on this inevitable transition, my hope and encouragement is that we continue to appreciate the gifts this tragic time has yielded. The zoom dinners and virtual happy hours. The agile pivots and technological efficiencies. The random acts of kindness and creative output. And most of all, the increased presence in the now.

If we have to endure some pain, let’s do our best to enjoy the comforts that are accompanying it. Surely we have some time to appreciate those a little bit more–even if we do it while preparing for what’s next.


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