A New Normal

Re-emerging from COVID-19 and what it looks like at the ACT Group

CEO Monique Blom talks about adapting to a new normal post-COVID19. Whilst we were all in lockdown there is no doubt that the world around us changed: and it is our responsibility to change with it.

COVID-19 has enveloped the world in a manner not seen before and shown no discrimination. It has devoured countries and continents, infecting people regardless of ethnicity, religion, wealth, completely ignoring national borders. It has thwarted any attempt to deliver ‘business as usual’.

The past few months have been an extraordinary time for extremes in human behaviours. We have witnessed the “not so pleasant” side of self- centredness, as people stock-piled necessities at the expense of others, ignoring requests to stay at home and refusing to keep a social distance. However, we have also witnessed immense kindness and the rejuvenation of communities. We have seen people volunteering, a world-wide acknowledgement for our key health workers, and large businesses putting aside their profit margins to transform product and services to overcome shortages or access issues.

Of real noteworthiness, is seeing families spending more time together, and communities rediscovering their own backyards. There has been a strong sense of unity in “fighting” this virus, and a reinvigorated appreciation for the simpler things in life. The COVID-19 crisis, despite its tragic implications in terms of sickness and death, has galvanised communities, it has enabled a strengthened clarity about what we are collectively capable of achieving.

Our concept of the workplace has been disrupted, and our usual way of working has changed, and potentially for the better. A search for different answers has begun and a new kind of working has quickly taken shape.

This is ever-present at the ACT Group, as the old ways of doing things have changed under the pressure of a global crisis, we become mindful of new ways of doing things.

As the restrictions take a dynamic change and we see the lessening of the rules, we are yet again adapting to another new kind of normal at the workplace. This new normal is not a return to our daily work pattern, rather an integration into a different way of working, yet not without precautions.

This new approach means we at the ACT Group are embracing the following:

  • Taking it slowly– Simple things like returning to the office or seeing clients in a face to face capacity might feel strange as we move back into our post-lockdown work routine. We encourage our staff and stakeholders to take note of how you feel and consider speaking to your colleagues, trusted peers and family if feelings of anxiety persist or worsen about your reintegration back to work.
  • Rebuild your co-worker relationships– It’s been a while since you’ve physically seen your co-workers – and remember, they’ve changed as much as you have. Spend some time together processing the experience, rebuilding professional connections and supporting one another as you move into the next phase of your working dynamics.
  • Reflect on your experience – Rather than focusing on what was, take some time to think about whether the lockdown experience could help you make positive changes going forward to the way you work. Have you realised you want to work less, exercise more, make more effort to spend time with friends and family? Make a list of new habits you are keen to embrace and start implementing them one by one.
  • Remember the health advice –Wash your hands regularly, keep a safe distance from others and keep up with the rules as they change so you know what you can and cannot do. Remember these rules have been very effective at keeping the infection rate low in Australia.

Feel free to comment below with any adaptions you have had to make and embrace. Are there any in particular you are hoping to sustain long after the pandemic is over?

Monique Blom

CEO

Australian Childhood Trauma Group