How to Smoothly Transition Back to “Normal”
A little more than a year ago, we were all adjusting to the “new normal” of working from home, figuring out how to share the screen on video calls and ordering everything online from home improvement items to groceries. With vaccinations more readily available, we are starting to see a shift to another “new normal.”
TSA recently announced that airports are seeing more than one million travelers for more than three consecutive days for the first time since early 2020. Microsoft has welcomed its employees back to the office for a few days a week using a hybrid model. Restaurants across Arizona have opened to 100% capacity and are busier than I can remember.
This is reminiscent of those few weeks in the summer when COVID-19 cases were declining and Team HMA had returned to the office. (It was short-lived).
But just as there were adjustments going into lockdown, businesses need to prepare for the transition back into normalcy in order to avoid any new crises.
Not everyone will be vaccinated
Once in a blue moon we hear on the news that there are a few cases of an illness like scarlet fever or polio. This is because not every single person is vaccinated. Some groups of people are not able to receive vaccines due to other health conditions. Others may choose not to get vaccinated. The reason we can keep these diseases at bay is because of herd immunity which occurs when around 80% of the population is vaccinated. Keeping this in mind, businesses would be smart to continue practicing social distancing protocols when returning to the workplace.
Continue sharing updates on social media
As a person with a HIPPA certification, I am all for keeping your health information private. But as public as the COVID-19 crisis has been, sharing updates about how your business is reinforcing health and safety protocols shows that your business is being safe, responsible and caring for the health of its employees and consumers. Sure, this isn’t usually the type of information businesses share, but many people have been posting photos of their vaccination card and even videos getting the vaccine. With consent from your staff, consider sharing updates about employees being vaccinated or offer a sweet deal like Krispy Kreme.
Revaluate and readjust often
As a pr firm who provides crisis communications, we encourage our clients to consistently reevaluate their crisis communications plan. This is an important step to making decisions based on how your business will fully open back up to the public. Your “no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service” signs might stay but you will still want to consider how your crisis management plan can change with herd immunity on the horizon.