With the announcements from Boris, opening up England again, I am approaching this with caution, which is not my normal style. I won't be running around hugging everyone but I will start shaking hands again. One of the things I didn't like, about the restrictions, was the fist bumping and elbow touch. Call me 'old fashioned' but I like a good solid hand shake. A simple thing, I know, but it's one of those things that, I feel, really connects people.
So we can go inside for food and drink, socialise and connect again. We can spend time together without the worry of asking "Am I allowed?" It's crazy that these things are now recognised as vital for our sanity, whereas in the past, they were taken for granted. It was just something we did!
I had a conversation with a client about delivering some face-to-face workshops and it actually made me a bit nervous. Will I remember everything I need to share, can I still do my job? I am sure there are many people feeling worried about going back to work and redefining what that looks like. For most people, it won't be the same, ever again! 
We will need to establish new rules and agree how that plays out. If companies don't make it crystal clear, there will be confusion, conflict and mayhem. Flexible, adaptable and blended working practises mean something different to us all, so we need to talk about it.
If you work in a team, how are you going to work together again? What balance are you going to strike to satisfy everyone?
I am expecting to run workshops around new working practises within businesses and teams. Performance may not instantly raise, just because we are back in the office, it could dip if we don't do it right.
Here are a few tips, as a start point:
  • Focus on the people before diving into the business topics
  • Celebrate all of your 'lock down' successes
  • Be open minded and create an environment that suits the majority 
  • Engage everyone before making a set of imposed rules
We have had a major disruption, which has had a positive impact in the way we work and how we can be adaptable, trustworthy and perform at a high level, without someone looking over our shoulder. We don't have to 'return to normal' and now is the time to be assertive to make sure we don't do things as we used to do them, just because it feels comfortable.
Now is the time to create the future, your future!
Have an amazing week and I look forward to shaking hands with you when we meet up next. Maybe over a pint in a pub!

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