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Thursday 18 Jun 20

The TakeawayThe New Normal

How Much Will The New Normal Look Like The Old Normal?

The hospitality industry is beginning to reopen, there is mounting pressure to reduce the 2 metre rule, in part, to support the former but also in part to seemingly bring this period of quarantine to an end.

Businesses are moving back into their offices, or at least planning to, and so it is reasonable to suggest that we are approaching this ‘new normal’ the we have all been talking about and planning for.

But how much will the new normal look like the old normal?

Social Distancing

As a training and development company, we have had to consider this question at length, as a great deal of what we do involves facilitating in-person training sessions whereby people are not usually able to be 2 metres apart.

So after efforts have been made by companies all over the world, to COVID proof their offices and business operations for the long-term, we are not at a stage where the 2m rule may well be abolished at the same time as businesses are returning to their offices. So the question is, as regulation is being abolished, what will actually change, or remain changed?

In our opinion, we do not think many of these changes will hold, for the following reasons:

  • Businesses cannot operate, at full capacity whilst encumbered by distancing rules, particularly in the manufacturing sectors or sectors like it where there are specific machines and plant that require people to be closer than that or to physically pass things between two people.

  • There is a cost to social distancing that businesses will not really want to pay, but importantly, when we are looking to recover and regrow a severely impacted economy, the government will not want businesses handcuffed when they attempt to do that.

  • Psychologically, we think people will be comforted by the return to the ‘old normal’, as it will signify then end and perhaps the victory over this pandemic and, in most ways, unpleasant period of history. To live in a different world may be viewed as a defeat or reminder of the fear of this virus.

  • People have short memories; we are all well aware of the Spanish Flu, a devastating pandemic that killed many in and around the year 1918, and whilst just out of major living memory, it is very recent history, yet we have not previously lived in acknowledgement of this kind of history repeating itself.

We are not suggesting that the above reasons are right, morally or otherwise, but merely predicting what will happen as opposed to what should happen.

This is of course opinion and speculation, which we think fall under the purview of blogs, and in terms of our own planning process, we think that the new normal, will in a short amount of time look a great deal like the old normal. 

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