The origin of the quote, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses” is unknown, but it was used by the author of the 1853 book “Lettres Écrites De Mon Jardin”, and by Abraham Lincoln while addressing the difference between optimists and pessimists.

As we begin to move towards the end of the coronavirus-imposed quarantine, two extreme perspectives are at odds with returning safely to the workplace.  Each of our lives has been altered and impacted by the shutdown.  Situations such as this one affect people differently, and just because a person is not responding to the pandemic in the way you think they should, does not mean they are unchanged. Returning to your workplace after working remote or being on furlough requires patience as we all navigate the process.

For some people, it will be natural to quickly gravitate back to normal behaviors, including shaking hands, sharing screens and work tools, and sampling each other’s lunch treats.  Others however may never return to these actions.  We should all allow each person to transition from crisis with the space and respect from those around them.  We want everyone to feel comfortable and not unnecessarily pressured.  The rest doesn’t really matter.  What matters is you doing what works for your personal transition while respecting others as they do the same.

Here are three articles that have some great suggestions for transition:

Returning to Work Post Covid-19

How to Create a Healthy Building for Returning Employees

Common Sense Guide for Returning to the Office

We are going to receive criticism about going back to work as before due to the unknowns with COVID still out there.  Those in support of resuming business as close to the past normal as possible will see the new start as beautiful as a bed of roses.  No matter your view, it is inevitable that we all return to work as soon as possible in order to secure our livelihoods. Looking for the roses among the thorn bushes, and using the right precautions to pick the roses, will leave you less likely to be pricked.

To Your Return to Work.  May it be a rosy start that gets rosier as the days go by.

Suzanne Breistol

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