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At many times in human history, managers have had to contend with losing their workforce for a few days or weeks due to disasters, epidemics, or war. But never have managers been asked to reassemble a workforce which has been working remotely and in isolation from one another for over a year.
Yet, that's the very situation before us as the pandemic begins to recede. In their rush to get the train back on the tracks, however, managers can be blindsided by a reality which they have not allowed for in their planning.
To be specific, workers are coming back together bearing unhealed wounds both emotionally and psychologically. They have been through a year of economic, political, social, and financial turmoil. It has been a year of intense emotions, few of them positive, uplifting, or energizing.
During that time, millions of workers have learned that they can work remotely. And great numbers of them now actually prefer to do so. They will not only return with unhealed wounds from the shutdown, but a resentment of no longer being able to work from home.
What will all of this mean for the atmosphere which prevails as these workers come back together after a year apart? This episode examines possibilities which every manager should take into account.