First coffee break of Wednesday here at the Handelsblatt newsroom, and the conversation is all about the question of the times: when will things return to normal in a Post Covid world. Unfortunately, the word POST can’t be attached to Covid yet. No matter where we are in this planet, a common theme resonates with all: “We are tired of the masks, the limitations of our social life, the fear of catching the dreaded virus, and having to show a vaccination certificate to get into so many places. We hate it that we can’t travel as we used to.” And, I may add, if you travel, be prepared to fill out forms, and to be tested along the way.
We had Covid tests this morning here in Germany, even though we are vaccinated and HAD Covid as recently as last month. But, regardless, a test is required to travel to the next destination. I figure that we can either have self imposed lockdowns, saying goodby to life as we knew it, or we can accept the new normal, arm ourselves with patience and start a folder on our desktop to archive all the health travel documents required, while waiting for a future in a Post Covid environment. Meanwhile, we can all bitch about it during the morning break, taking the masks off to sip our coffee and hoping that everyone around is vaccinated. With Covid, uncertainty and no guarantees rule the day!
I know that we must abide by the rules, and, for many, those rules involve working from home. I have done it over the past 18 months, including teaching my Columbia class via Zoom. It can be done. Ideas are exchanged, projects advance to fruition and it is a marvelous solution for these difficult times.
However, after working long distance with the team of Handelsblatt on our project, I am delighted to be sitting here with creative director, Michel Becker, sharing ideas, standing side by side as we look at design concepts on the big computer screen, and calling in the editor in chief, Sebastian Matthes, when needed for show and tell regarding our work.
For the record:
The numbers show that more Americans are returning to work in person, but I question how long this will last, as we see the Delta variant surging in so many states.
A 2020 Gallup found that 56% of U.S. workers were “always” or “sometimes” working remotely in January. The percentage of workers punching in from home hit a high of 70% in April. It has declined with each subsequent month before leveling out at 58% in September for four months.
Let’s hope more people can return to work in person, mingle with colleagues and be more productive.
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