A lot has changed since March and as we all settle into our new routines, it’s hard to not think about what the future holds. What comes next is on almost everyone’s mind right now. We have all begun making new ground rules, seeking new methodologies, and setting new goals and expectations.

I would encourage you to continue to operate out of compassion, understanding, kindness, curiosity, and optimism.

During our ‘shelter in place’ or ‘safer at home’ period, we became accustomed to hearing spouses talking in the background of a Zoom meeting. Children climbing into laps. Dogs barking.

And we went on…

We learned that we all have lives outside the previously established ‘business hours’ from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. (or 7 P.M. or 9 P.M.). We began to forgive — or even not really notice — when people needed to step away from their computer screens for “life”. We enjoyed getting to know people we worked with better. And we confirmed what we thought we knew before…that WE. ARE. ALL. HUMAN.

We found out that being professional does not come wrapped in a starched white shirt and silk tie. Managers don’t have all the answers. Team leaders are anxious. Employee’s are doing their best.

And we went on…

Faced with uncertainty, it became fair game for anyone and everyone to offer suggestions and opinions because there was no playbook or operating manual for what we were facing. Those who had quietly sat in the background in the workplace found a voice when sitting in their own kitchen talking into a computer screen.

Remote working has brought out the good in many of us. We have been given the chance to see how and when we are most efficient. We could set up our workspaces in a way that pleased and motivated us. We were able to isolate and think, feel, do.

And we went on…

I’ve heard over and over in recent months, “I am getting so much done!”

Facing the staggering statistics of unemployment, we were able to assess the value of our jobs. We worked hard to prove our value from our sofas and kitchen tables. And although we had time to contemplate new career paths, many of us found out we really like what we do…and who we do it with and for!

Positivity and support have become infectious. We held each other up. We expressed our feelings. We shared our thoughts.

And we went on…

Our mantra became “We Are All in This Together.” We worked hard to make sure we all came to the top for air. When one of us went under, others pulled us back to the surface.

The funny thing is this is the way every team should have always been operating. We should have been acting like this long before the word COVID became a part of our vocabulary.

So, I ask you this – if given the chance, do you want to go back to the way it was before? I think if you dig deep, you might find out you enjoy the new workplace. I think you might have found friendship where only office relationships were in the past. I believe you might like your job more than you thought. I feel like you might understand and respect the load that leaders must shoulder and the challenges all employees are faced with.

Owners that kept staff when the darkness of closures settled in around them should be praised. Business leaders who were able to quickly respond to the rapidly changing environment should be praised. Workers who came into workplaces to keep things running while fearing for their health should be praised. Essential workers should be celebrated for continuing to carry for those of us who were required to ‘shelter in place’. The fact that we are making it through this…we should all be praised.

I have always been a “got lemons? – make lemonade!” person. I tend to see the bright side. After what we’ve experienced throughout the last few months, I challenge you to do the same. I think you’ll be more content, focused, and happier once your glass is full!

And we will go on…