Almost as fast as the pandemic was upon us, it appears that day-to-day business is returning to normal. What “normal” is has changed too, as we adopted new ways of doing things when we shifted to accommodate the need to change.
The excitement, combined with the anxiety of jumping back in, is why we need to do it in a way that keeps stress levels low. It’s important to take into account the hesitation of others as there are still many with reservations about getting back out there.
On the business side of things, in-person meetings are something many of us missed. And now, we are either raring to go or are hesitant because we’ve grown accustomed to the world of Zoom and feel our social skills are rusty.
Just like anything “new,” you can test the waters while your confidence continues to build. To follow are some examples of how you can begin to immerse yourself:
Schedule shorter duration meetings
Limit the amount of time you spend at an event
Go with a someone who makes you feel comfortable
And remember, there will be many “rusty” people out there who are feeling anxious too. It’s a relevant topic for conversation as people find comfort in sharing similar experiences, so be open about how you’re feeling – in a positive manner.
If one of your reasons is that you didn’t complete your COVID resolutions, check out one of our earlier blogs, “Lack of Completed COVID Resolutions? That’s OK!
New Procedures Are There for a Reason
- Increasing their sanitizing standards beginning with a total deep clean
- Positioning hand sanitizer stations throughout the office
- Posting new procedures in a central location or, on the Internet or internal Intranet
- Alerting vendors such as delivery personnel and companies that provide a service such as cleaning or catering.
In-Person Events and Meetings
Offering the flexibility of a virtual option can help increase attendance, at least until all are ready for in-person. For a conference room meeting, this is reasonably easy to accomplish. However, for a more interactive event that involves networking and catered food, a virtual option wouldn’t necessarily be viable.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for getting together, but being flexible will increase participation when options are available.
Business Lunch Meeting
There’s something to be said for conducting business over a working lunch. It’s a great way to establish rapport and build on a relationship that leads to trust. Plus, a change in location helps reduce stress and increase morale.
- If you’re meeting with employees, it’s a great way to bond as a team in an informal environment.
- If meeting with potential/existing clients, it’s a more relaxing setting to have a confidential discussion.
- If you’re the one buying, it’s always a great way to show your appreciation.
If you’re in charge of the lunch plans, make it easier on yourself by making upfront choices that will help demonstrate your professionalism. When you reduce the number of tasks you need to take care of during lunch, the smoother and less stressful it will be.
- Make reservations. Not all establishments allow for reservations, but if you know you have a table in advance, your meeting can more likely start/end on time.
- Choose a restaurant that has easy-to-eat food as most likely you’ll be in business attire. And, it’s always wise to ask the attendee(s) upfront if a particular type of cuisine works for them.
- As always, proper etiquette while eating goes a long way as it helps to establish your personality and what they can expect when doing business with you.
- And very important, arrive early. Be the first to arrive to ensure your table is ready and so you can be the one to greet any guests.