Recovering from the pandemic is challenging for business owners, says Jerry Cahn, Forbes Council Member and founder of Age Brilliantly — but it's not impossible.
Cahn says that over the past three years, workers have rediscovered something called their "essential selves." This is due to the integration of many different states of mind into one cohesive worker — their characteristics as a parent, a teacher, a cook, a partner, and a friend all began inching into their work lives as commuting slowed down and life occurred all in one place. Now, it's hard to switch that off and return to a stricter sense of professionalism, when people have unabashedly reconnected with who they feel they truly are. Cahn notes that this "great exploration" led to the "great resignation," and ultimately, employers shouldn't have been taken aback by the transition.
As workers have rediscovered their essential selves, corporations have also done so. Priorities have been reorganized during the pandemic, and what businesses thought were good practices and reasonable policies have been proven outdated. Companies leaned into e-commerce and tech-forward options that improve their employees' mental and physical health in times of stress. Ultimately, though the transition was difficult for many, it culminated in the new world of work — one that employers needed to get with or else get left behind.
Cahn believes that the most important aspect of developing a business these days is keeping up with the times regarding flexibility and considerateness. Companies should be aware of their employees' needs and allow them flexible schedules, work locations, and accommodations whenever possible. Also, over the past couple of years, workers have realized that time outside the office with family and friends is vital for their well-being, and employers should cherish that fact rather than attempting to ignore it.
Additionally, employees' skills and abilities should be fostered. Productivity and success aren't just about seeing someone in a Zoom meeting. They're about understanding what abilities employees have and helping them achieve their career goals using those abilities.