Adjusting to the 'new normal'

The Upsides of this ‘New Normal’

Welcome to the ‘new normal’!

How many times have you heard this over the past few weeks? I know I’ve been glued to Zoom and WebEx and a range of online sharing tools and I’m adapting to this ‘new normal’ as best as I can considering I’m an extrovert whose entire business is built on face to face, live workshops. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and I’m impressed with how my clients and colleagues have adjusted to a world where face to face, in-person contact is simply not possible. It’s forced me to step up my game and think differently if I want to continue to add value and make a difference. And while it might seem that we’re accepting a sub-optimal way of working, I see some huge upsides, and potential opportunities to rethink how we work:


I’ve run a number of Strengths workshops over Zoom and WebEx over the last three weeks, and I’m finding the conversations deeper and more impactful. People are sharing and asking high-quality questions much more than I have seen in a live workshop. My working hypothesis as this point (early days) is that people feel safe in the comfort of their homes to share and be vulnerable.

New normal brings safety with Zoom calls

Levelling the playing field

Anyone who has had to dial into a meeting as the only remote attendee knows the feeling of being left out. ‘Around the room’ turns into everyone in the physical room as the people on video/phone are quickly forgotten. With everyone dialling in, every voice is equal. I’m hearing more from people I may have otherwise labelled as ‘a bit quiet’.

The new normal levels the playing field, everyone has an equal voice


With the distractions of the office gone, we are left with the opportunity to focus more than ever. Sure, we have pets and children to deal with, but they come nowhere near the distraction levels a modern office environment provides. I’ve noticed a greater focus on outcomes in recent weeks – and speed (it takes less than a minute to jump on a call, and much longer to walk/tram/drive to a physical location. My theory at the moment is we see time on a video call as more valuable than time in person, so we maximise that time by giving the meeting our full attention, allowing us to solve problems faster.

New normal brings more focus

As an extrovert, I am still missing in-person contact, but I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the immense value that is being created in this new world we find ourselves in.

What other upsides have you noticed? What do you think might continue when the danger has passed? You can also find this article on LinkedIn – feel free to join in the conversation!



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About Emma Sharrock

Emma is the author of The Agile Project Manager: Thrive in Change with Agile. An experienced change leader, Emma is passionate about working with people to facilitate successful change. Emma utilises Agile techniques, coupled with the Agile mindset to coach leaders and teams to achieve their business goals.