Kelly M. Willenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) is President and CEO of Kelly Willenberg & Associates in Greenville, SC.
In the spring, many research sites saw their staff working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were changes at nearly every healthcare facility, and they were swift. Nobody expected what happened. Research staff experienced layoffs, modified hours, working from home, and cutbacks in studies and research patient visits. Most of the change occurring was out of our control, and it caused stress for many.
The workplace has changed over the past few months. More people are working remotely now, and people are having to share office space still due to the crisis a few months ago. Going from a vibrant office to a few people in cubbies changes the dynamic, especially when most of us were not anticipating the changes that have occurred. Morale has ebbed and flowed differently over the past few months for a variety of reasons, including job, money, and family dynamics. During the change that has gone on, have you accepted it and moved forward? Are you still hoping that the change is just temporary? Many were living in a rut and enjoying the workplace environment. Then came the COVID-19 maze, and everything was different.
In 1998, Spencer Johnson wrote in the book Who Moved My Cheese that change happens, and unless you adapt quickly and enjoy it, you will not survive in your maze. All of us have had to deal with significant change over the past few months. Some of it was not what we wanted or even liked. Some of us had our cheese relocated; some had to sniff out new cheese; some felt they were entitled to the cheese they once had, but someone else took it from them. Some liked their old cheese and it was important to them, and change scared them. In the book, one mouse successfully deals with change by seeing the writing on the wall. Now we all experienced writing on our wall in our work.
Learning to cope with the transitions of change put before us in the past few months has been extreme in some cases and difficult for many. Sometimes change is for the best, even though we cannot see it. Deciding how to manage it is your decision. In the book, the author says that the quicker you let go of the old cheese, the sooner you find the new cheese. Savor the new cheese by managing the change in your life. The handwriting is on the wall. Change happens. Enjoy the taste of your new cheese!