Same but different, is how I’d describe it. Having been behind the chair for twenty years now it’s just normal for me to go back to that. The “new” way of doing so is definitely an adjustment. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to re-join society after being under a quarantine lifestyle for three months. It’s not that it’s hard, it’s just “different”. It’s hard to explain. Just like having to get used to being home and not working, returning to work has the same adjustment qualities.
Yesterday was my first client day and the one thing that was most noticeable was not being able to interact via touch or smile. The old ways of a welcoming handshake are gone for the moment and trying to “smize” from behind a mask doesn’t feel as pleasant. I’m sure anyone in any industry can say the same. Changing the dialogue from “Can I get you anything” to “If you have any questions I can help you with” while trying to keep a human connection.
One big point to take in as well is that it’s not only workers that may have some anxiety coming back, our clients experience the same. Some of us aren’t nervous or worried at all, being excited to be back and some clients are just as excited and aren’t worried about anything but yet some are. Let’s be extremely mindful of everyone and how they have felt during these uncertain times. Be patient and promote kindness and wellness in your space. Assure and follow sanitation guidelines. Book clients during times they may feel most comfortable. If they experience a bit of anxiety book them earlier or during a more quiet time.
Let’s all acknowledge that the “new normal” is a learning curve for all of us and keep in mind this pandemic isn’t over yet just because the world is slowly re-opening.