March 11, 2020, changed the way business was done for twelve to sixteen months. I am a member of a shared workspace. I met there with a couple of members of a project team on that day. None of us wore masks confident the pandemic would be inconsequential. Clearly, we were wrong. Two days after that meeting the shared office space was closed to the public and the monthly membership was suspended. How was I going to make it? I was used to meeting clients and prospects there. As an extrovert, I attended chamber mixers and other events regularly. 

The answer – Zoom. I wish I had bought stock in Zoom and other remote meeting companies. The nation made a major pivot in a relatively short period of time. The change rippled across all industries. While remote products and services were exploding, all forms of travel, conferences, sporting events, in-person learning came to a halt.

Although many people didn’t like the shutdown, they got used to it. On the other hand, some liked it so well they don’t want to go back to the way things were before the pandemic. The first people who come to mind are those with long commutes. People, who work in tech, accounting, or jobs that aren’t as relational my ponder, do I really need to be in the office every day? Rather than allow others to decide a good number of employees are choosing to quit if required to return to in-person work.

It appears there are three scenarios 1) return to all in-person 2), hybrid or 3) remain all remote. We can speculate as to how each scenario will turn out. Many organizations are in the process of determining whether to require all employees to be vaccinated and associated issues. One thing for sure it adds a new twist to office relationships. With all of these issues swirling around, leaders must keep their eyes on the prize: mission-driven productivity. It’s uncharted water; I have a forward-looking process to resolve issues proactively. Change your thoughts, change your destiny.

Work relationships matter.