So it was great to share a coffee with some friends yesterday, and to feel that things were “normal”.

Like many we talked about what the “New normal” would be following Covid but our conversation turned to my friends imminent return to “going back to the office” and the fact that after one year, working from home, the thought of returning to normal was actually filled with trepidation, and a great deal of anxiousness for him.
The reality is returning to work is not going to be normal for many, and I have had many conversations about people’s anxiety of having to return to work places, with questions such as:-
• What is going to be the etiquette for greeting colleagues! Should I shake hands/hug?
• Will my colleague have had their vaccinations?
• Am I going to be safe to work alongside someone who hasn’t?
• Are measures going to be in place so that I feel comfortable and safe?
Good communication about expectations and the wellbeing of staff in the workplace will be crucial to getting businesses up and running smoothly again.
If you are a business and your staffs, upon returning to work are feeling uncomfortable and uneasy, about “being back to normal” then it is likely that you will find that they will not be working efficiently.
Regrettably resentment can replace goodwill, and conflict may quickly manifest between staff over working conditions and the following (or not) of protocols, in place to protect them. For many staff the only recourse available to them too resolve an issue will be their grievance procedure, but there is another way:
Mediation is a guided negotiation and used within the workplace can help with communication between staff and resolve conflict situations, by encouraging healthy dialog in a confidential safe environment, so that an appreciation can be reached of the different viewpoints that exist.
Companies that know of the benefits use mediation with great success. There are some good practitioners out there including ourselves.
If you have not thought about it before, investigate the benefits of mediation to your business and your staff, and maybe make Mediation the new Normal in resolving conflict situations in your workplace.

If you need any help with conflict matters or require mediation services please contact us,

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