Pros Adjust to the #COVID-19 World

Pros Adjust to the #COVID-19 World

#COVID-19 has changed our professional landscape – perhaps forever. Businesses that balked at allowing telecommuting are embracing staff taking initiating and connecting, producing and meeting whatever deadlines are in place. Restaurants – those that can survive this chaos – are enlisting waitstaff to connect with customers online and by phone to take and produce pick-up or delivery orders. Teachers from kindergarten through higher education are instructing students, responding to messages, and finding new avenues to explore with their classes.

It is difficult to not be somewhat emotional during this chaos. I am continuing to teach my Rutgers business communications course that was already an online class. Only one of 30 students has dropped in the past week; a few others are trying to catch up as they deal with effects of #COVID-19 in their lives. I struggle with whether I should make changes in the course or try to maintain some normalcy. Finding the compromise seems to have worked so far.

Deadlines are softened; extension requests considered more closely; slight adjustments to the team project; all of these tweaks are allowing students the ability to breathe a little easier in order to complete successfully complete the course. So that’s one small victory.

My client, as always, is incredibly supportive. The growing real estate development Eden & Main Townhomes - November 7, 2019company, Kokes Properties, LLC has me crafting some content in part focusing on sales success during this difficult period. It’s a balance to encourage potential new home buyers to consider this new townhome construction while navigating this crisis that changes daily. Michael J. Kokes and his expert team are proceeding with this nearly-complete project and are fortunate to be economically sound during this period.

Will we revert to our ‘old’ ways and operations when the danger has passed? Some businesses will – others will not. Time will tell. Our Realtor mentioned that the way they do business may never be the same.

Now, for the personal. We have sold our home of more than 27 years and are moving  LivingRoom boxespermanently to New Hampshire where we bought a home in 2016. We have developed a community of friends in the small town. Our life transitioned there as we found more happiness and quality of life there.

Times are bittersweet for all of us; professionally and personally. When we talk about professional soft skills, listening and empathy are among them. Listen well, understand questions and comments given this unusual time and thoughtfully make decisions and choices that can benefit your organization, team, business – and you. Be well.

It’s Been a While…Life has Changed #COVID-19

Gosh, has life changed. Yes, I fell off the blogging wagon in the past months; discovered listening to podcasts, concentrated on teaching online, focused on a couple of new clients and planned our major, permanent move – to New Hampshire.

It’s a late winter and start to spring like no other in our lifetime. As of this writing in Ext-front1-20200219March 2020, our new normal includes hashtags #COVID-19 #socialisolating #quarantine #coronavirus and many more related to the #COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, infecting tens of thousands and claiming thousands of lives.

Not since September 11th have we felt this surreal sense of daily living. Everything has changed while we try to create some semblance of normalcy.¬† Once again, we are seeing and hearing stories of selfless humanity: neighbors helping neighbors with errands – dropping off food and supplies. Yesterday, I literally rang a neighbor’s doorbell and almost ran away.

#Socialdistancing is another hashtag trending. Humans naturally want to connect. The dichotomy of living in a small, New Hampshire town and in the Philadelphia region is startling. Dealing with #socialdistancing in Cherry Hill has been at times annoying, hilarious and a little scary. I went to Home Depot to pick up moving boxes. A woman in her late 60s or early 70s started chatting with me about the current state of affairs. She kept moving in toward me. You know how you feel when someone ‘invades’ your personal space? That space has expanded and she was well short of the six-feet recommendation. So, I backed up and wrapped up the pleasantries with her fairly quickly. As for #Wolfeboro, I left there to come back to Cherry Hill before New Hampshire was hit by the virus; now, our friends there are also isolating and schools, businesses, houses of worship are closed or severely restricted to the public.

#Washyourhands is something we should always do. Now, I am washing my hands so much, I need to double-up on the hand cream. Last night, while drying one of the only wine glasses I have not packed here in Cherry Hill, the glass shattered; I gashed a finger – bad enough that Doug drove me to an urgent care site in the neighborhood. Every staff member was masked (except behind their work station area – which I thought was odd); the x-ray technician was not masked, nor the x-ray receptionist. I was out of there in an hour.

MtWillard-Us-Aug2019We’ve been urged to get fresh air when we can. I’ve taken some walks and have noticed more people than usual walking, running, biking. (It still boggles my mind that kids do not wear helmets when biking). The receptionist who had to walk me back to the urgent care treatment room had just come inside from what she called a break to get some fresh air. She reeked of cigarette smoke. She lamented how the inside air gets so stuffy that she needs to step outside. Did she really think I did not smell the remnants of her true reason for a break outside? The scenario was mildly funny.

While we continue to pack here, the process of getting to the closing table with our buyers has been somewhat hampered by #COVID-19. Township offices are closed and staff down to a minimum with most working remotely. Since I have community connections after all these years here, I was able to reach a few people to move things along. We’ll see shortly the whether March 27th closing takes place – or how long it might be delayed.

Meantime, we adjust, cope, forgive, laugh, hope, pray, exercise, plan and proceed with our new normal. May you and your family be well.