Life has a new normal.

Over the past 5-6 months, people from all over the world have had to adjust to a new existence, a new normal, a new way of living and behaving. For most people this has meant working from home, limiting getting out your home, or not getting out at all. Social activities have been dramatically reduced, only essential travel or no travel at all is now the norm. We have stopped shaking hands and will only hug close family and friends if at all.

The new normal “Covid changes” go on and on but there is a looming concern as we consider the psychology of habits and addiction. It takes 21 days to form a new habit and a little longer to break an old habit. Some serious addictions can be eradicated in just a few months by reinforcing new behaviors. These “new normal” behavioral patterns will be harder to break than we think.

The new normal habits

Just to name a few, we have noticed these new human habits in the following ways:

  1. People would prefer not to return to an office as sleeping in to 8 am and walking to the next room by 8:30 am is far easier.
  2. Working from home is more desirable than long commutes to work and dealing with rush hour traffic.
  3. Companies no longer need large office buildings as remote working is effective.
  4. The need for business trips across the world is in question, as you can get on a video call.
  5. The fears of infection are intruding on every social gathering.
  6. It is scary to get close to people even those we know well.
  7. People are avoiding shaking hands or hugging.
  8. There is an automatic mistrust when meeting a stranger as we always think… “Are they infected?” 
  9. People are cautious about planning holidays
  10. The slightest cold or seasonal allergy means Covid-19

Viable vaccines will only be reliable well into 2021 even though we will have first vaccine runs later this year. This new normal of paranoia, mistrust, and social avoidance will take many years to overcome as it did after the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. Traveling with masks appeared to only be an Asian population norm as they were face to face with previous SARS viruses.

Employers need to start preparing now for the new behavioral challenges of returning to work. At Wilford Scholes, we understand the psychology of a pandemic and how we need to both accept and adjust to it so we can remain profitable. Contact us today.

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