This question of what our “new normal” will look like has raised a lot of uncertainty as we look ahead. As of now, we know that states across the U.S. are opening up businesses that have been classified as nonessential and lifting Shelter-In-Place restrictions at their own discretion. Even individual counties within these states have been reopening at their own pace. As we return to work and life moves forward, what will our future hold?
The Struggle for Businesses to Survive
As we begin to reopen businesses, it is difficult to imagine that many of our favorite stores, restaurants, and services may not have survived this unprecedented time. There is much uncertainty surrounding how many businesses will be able to bounce back from taking such a hard hit financially. We must prepare ourselves for a future that may include countless “For Lease” signs and boarded up windows and doors. Many companies, such as Hertz Car Rental, have filed for bankruptcy after their industry was completely shut down almost instantly. It is our nation’s hope that the expansion of PPP Loan funding will provide much-needed relief to businesses facing financial challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Change in Workplace Environments
In the last two weeks, we’ve provided information for companies and employees regarding what they should consider as we return to work. For now, we can expect that the workplace will include masks, social distancing, and restrictions on communal spaces in the office. There is still no timeline regarding how long these health and safety measures will be implemented. There has been some speculation that the coronavirus may very well see a spike in cases this fall as a seasonal flu. As we look toward the future, it may be something we will need to accept as our new normal until further facts about the virus and its transmittance are discovered.
The Importance of a Positive Mindset
Uncertainty can cause panic and fear of the unknown. It can be difficult to look towards a future when this abnormalcy seems to have no current end. As business owners, employees, families, and friends, we must focus on optimism and compassion towards others as we navigate through this uncomfortable period. Our future may be different than what we have grown accustomed to throughout our lives, but we are in control of our thoughts and actions in response to this change. Keeping a positive mindset and encouraging others around us to do so as well can help offset feelings of discomfort and anxiety.
Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and workplace/Title IX investigator in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. She is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on and provided commentary with such media outlets as Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, ABC, CBS, KTLA, KPCC Airtalk-89.3, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, People Magazine, and Essence Magazine.
Angela also is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California company that represents the gold standard in dispute resolution.
This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.