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Learn to Enjoy Your New Workday

By Randy Wolken

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If you are like most of us, your former ordinary workday was not like it is now, but rather very different. When New York State went into PAUSE, our lives changed dramatically. Are you learning to enjoy your new workday? It’s now time to design one you can enjoy.

At MACNY, we are embracing the “new normal.” We even have a team dedicated to designing the best new normal we can achieve. Why did we do this? Because we are not going back to the old normal. What has happened to MACNY — and every MACNY member — will forever change how we operate. We are planning to do more than navigate this challenging time. We plan to be better — much better — when we emerge from this current crisis. We are planning to enjoy our changed workday once again. In order to do our work well, we need to embrace the changes that are now becoming part of our lives.

For instance, I now work from home. And as of this weekly message, MACNY’s entire staff is working remotely. I am more efficient at home. I have more than twice as many stakeholder and MACNY member conversations and meetings. I Zoom from one event to another. I can reach people quicker and for shorter periods of time. Our staff is doing much the same. So much of what we are learning, we will keep doing once we return some of our staff to MACNY’s office. Others will be in the office some of the time. And, we want to keep all of the efficiency we have now as we reopen our events safely. The new normal will serve our team and our members better. This is how we want to handle the crisis to make us better than we have ever been.

The technology to do what we are now doing has existed for many years. In general, many of us had not fully learned and embraced it. We will need to take what works for us and make it a part of our new everyday workday. Our mental models and the ways we see work is what will need to continue to change. This can be hard to do. But once we have done it, we can embrace it and learn to look forward to our new future with excitement. I believe we can all do this.

For those who know me well, you know I try to see opportunities in all events of life. I do mourn what is lost. I do realize that times like this are painful. I would never wish such a crisis on anyone. And yet, we do need to learn to be happy as we move forward. Some aspects of the old normal will carry forward with us. Other things we used to do — and enjoyed — will go away. Our world has forever been changed by COVID-19. We now need to find our new normal and learn to live it — and learn to love it.

Are you starting to embrace your new normal? Can you learn to enjoy it? What parts of the new way of work and living do you want to maintain? As we transition out of the NY PAUSE, what do you want to return to and how can you do it safely? All of these are important questions for us today.

None of us really know what the world will look like even a few years from now. However, we can learn to embrace and enjoy elements of our new workdays now. We can all take important new lessons and skills from this experience. I hope all of you can enjoy your days going forward despite how different they are now.                        

Randy Wolken is president and CEO of MACNY, The Manufacturers Association, a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) association representing more than 300 businesses and organizations across Central and Upstate New York. This article is drawn and edited from Wolken’s weekly message to members, posted on May 29.

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