Getting Through the ‘New Normal’ to the ‘Next Normal’

Change is inevitable but is it permanent this time?

Early on into the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, we anticipated things were going to change. We thought meeting in person with clients was just going away for a while, while we hunkered down and figured out how to navigate what this meant for business going forward.

Technologies & industries that leveraged remote working experienced a welcomed virtual boom overnight while forward-facing industries that could not pivot, shuddered in the cold dark emptiness they were experiencing, with uninformed customers and no prospective revenue to speak of…

One thing that we all had in common back in early 2020 was that we all thought things were going to go back to being ‘normal’ again. But it’s not going back. Not fully. It can’t. To fully understand the psychology between the ‘new normal’ and the ‘next normal’ one would have to reflect and process everything that touches work & personal frameworks of all of life. We don’t have time for that.

Instead, the key point is to highlight navigating the ‘next normal.’ It’s evident with the talk of different COVID strains mutating and mask-wearing mandates being in our foreseeable future. The prevalent ‘safe’ mentality that has been produced in our Nation won’t allow us to go back. The once assumed prospect-impressing onsite group getaways, in-person client meetings, or large, multi-thousand-person event emporiums in Las Vegas may be a thing of the past. We hope not but things are trending that way.

‘Next Normal’- What does that mean for businesses?

To truly pivot to the ‘next normal’ involves embracing a remote environment for most employees. It’s allowing your business, in any industry, to thrive because you were able to update your technology, your service or product, vision & culture and become free from the bonds of just brick & mortar offices. All by embracing a dynamic remote counterpart and planning ahead. The company that can do this well, will thrive & flourish in this ‘next normal.’

The old-school mindset of “everybody must be in the office to do business” is a dying, irrelevant slogan. The C-Suite executive holding onto this mentality will be a thing of the past. There will be some companies that push hard for employees to return in the coming months. Morale & productivity most likely will be hindered.

Never before have we had people from across the Nation coming together daily on virtual meetings from the comfort of their own homes at these levels. Yet productivity has increased.* We cannot state enough how important for any new business or a company going through a rebranding to realize this now. The floodgates of awareness to this ‘next normal’ are open.

The Ability for Business to Transition from Unaware to Awareness- Remotely

In 2021, despite this pandemic uncertainty, companies ARE still forming & rebranding. The age-old need for awareness in the marketplace, whatever the industry, is critical. Companies need to be relevant to their buyers & prospects. They need to be able to get their message out and sustain business operations for new leads and projected future growth. It is imperative.

An agile company employee workforce

The ability for a company to be remote is a tangible benefit, a strength. Being agile enough for when the next pandemic, or whatever else may happen, obliterates businesses who can’t pivot in the next cycle of possible tragedy. The overhead of an empty brick & mortar alone can completely wipe out a business that isn’t operating at full capacity. When they aren’t able to produce enough ‘pipe in the pipeline’ of potential qualified leads, that’s when bad things happen.

Culture can be created & sustained through Working Remotely from Home

Companies are succeeding with virtual capabilities right now and have been since early-2020. There are dozens of employees hired this past year that have never even been in the same room as some of the people they meet daily. It’s unprecedented. And that’s ok. It’s working well, and it’s going to continue.  

It is also possible to build a strong culture remotely. Plenty of companies have done it; hordes of entrepreneurs driven to keep costs low have built their cultures from scratch, virtually. It must be intentional and cultivated daily but it’s happening. Perhaps better than the in-office culture…

At Guidelight, nearly 100% of the team has been operating at remote level. The team is making the conscious effort to grow the caring culture that their employees & customers experience. Remotely.

Let’s be honest. In the office setting, how many times have you had the overly talkative co-worker in your ear first thing in the morning before you’ve gone through your first email? Gabbing about the company socialite and what he/she did the other night… It is a productivity killer. Not to mention the dynamics of the rumor mill that poses the threat to reduce your company culture & morale!

Take the virtual work setting into account- The Zoom or Teams meeting hosted by a company department manager will not have ‘breakout meetings’ catered to the gossip corner. Instead, the meeting is productive, business is addressed, plans are put into action, and people get back to work. 

A forward-thinking Insurance company that excels

Over the past year of navigating this pandemic, Guidelight Insurance has experienced & studied the dynamics offered in this post and have come out stronger in 2021 for their customers & employees. The forward thinking of CEO Jason Trent & the agency teams has enabled them to improve on internal processes. Working remotely has been a flexible approach for employees and the learnings gleaned from the experience has set up Guidelight and its customers to thrive going forward, in the future.

Since 1927, we take pride in helping local folks in our North Carolina communities feel secure knowing they are covered on all fronts. We’re a different kind of insurance agency.

If you have any questions regarding service or policies with Guidelight Insurance, feel free to call us at (828) 552-5477 or email us at WeCare@guidelight.com.

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Jason Trent
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