As we start to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we’re seeing a trend emerge among many small- and medium-sized businesses. Before COVID, organizations filled huge office spaces, bustling with employees in cubicles, shared workspaces, and conference rooms. Then, things changed and those meetings and conversations transitioned to digital spaces.
The trend is how those businesses are coming back. For many, it’s no longer a 30,000-square-foot office. It’s 10,000 square feet and it works because leaders saw that flexible schedules could work, work-from-home positions were successful, and commuting every day to an office was a burden gratefully lifted from many of their team members.
Downsizing office spaces is just one of the opportunities organizations seized during COVID. As you start to consider your post-pandemic plan, realize that it’s not a time to react. It’s a time to pause, rethink, reset, and restart better than ever before. Here are three things to consider as you make your own restart.
1. Be Intentional About What You Really Need
COVID broke everything up. It challenged nearly every aspect of the way you do business and the way your teams operate. Now, you have an opportunity to put it back together to reflect your current vision, needs, and goals.
This is not a process to take lightly. Ask yourself and your teams these questions as you work toward a return to your new normal.
- What do you want your organization to look like?
- What do you really need?
- What can you do without?
- How can you streamline things after seeing how truly adaptable you are?
- What are you capable of that you never thought was possible?
Take the opportunity to slow down, plan, and make your return as meaningful as possible.
2. Don’t Just Return. Restart.
“The one thing about COVID, it has challenged everyone’s paradigm. So when that happens, the opportunity here to reset is very real.” — Tim Yeomans, Executive Vice President of FiredUP! Culture
You’ve been in total reaction mode for over a year. Now is the time to get away from that mindset. There is an opportunity for all organizations to restart.
What does a restart mean? It means…
- Challenging norms — Just because you’ve done something a certain way for a long time doesn’t make it the best way.
- Rethinking values — Who are you as a company? What do you stand for? What do you want your organization to really look and feel like?
- Examining protocols — Consider the systems, relationships, and culture that form the cornerstones of your business and ask yourself if they are aligned with your values and norms.
The need to challenge paradigms is one of COVID’s biggest lessons. Nothing is unchangeable, which unlocks a world of possibilities for your own reset. As you renew your own values, norms, and protocols, remember to do so while creating a culture of shared ownership rather than one of compliance.
3. Leverage the Collective Experience
It’s easy to think in terms of singularities, of what the single organization as a whole — or a single person — has been through. The reality is that there are entire teams of people who have all had unique experiences getting through COVID. Their struggles, successes, challenges, and insights are invaluable as you work toward your own reset and restart.
Remember that everyone’s been through something and the only path forward is the one that comes from listening and learning from the collective experience. By taking the time to truly listen, you will arrive at the right reset for you and your organization. Intentionality and purpose come naturally when you listen with empathy and focus.
Want to reset your culture as you consider your own organization’s return? Learn how to start that process by downloading our free resource: The Innovative Leader’s Guide to Transforming Company Culture…Starting with Yourself.
Author, Speaker, and Change Agent.
Chris leads a dynamic team of passionate change agents who are dedicated to partnering with organizational executives to create cultures that inspire, engage and ignite the best in people. Our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams and align operation practices to delighting the customer and drive breakthrough results.