Adjusting to the "NEW NORMAL" as an employee, and an intern

Adjusting to the "NEW NORMAL" as an employee, and an intern

Post Covid-19(?)

When was the last time you went outside, without having to wear a mask or face shield? May is coming to a close and countries all around the world are still fighting their own battles against this pandemic. The real question is, what will the aftermath be like?

Looking at things on the bright side, a lot of countries are (slowly) reopening; restaurants allowing me to dine in, shopping malls reopening, offices allowing employees to come back, etc. Like it or not, these strict and safety precautions are here to stay and it is best that we adjust to it while we can. The #newnorm, as they say, is truly a new chapter in human history.

What is the new normal?

The new normal, in my own humble words, is our lifestyle during, and after, this pandemic. The new normal incorporates all the safety precautions of preventing infection. What does that mean? It means social distancing is encouraged, wearing a mask or face shield is necessary, and working from home is something that companies should not take lightly, as the future of employment is heavily leaned towards remote work.

At shopping malls in Thailand, robot patrols stroll around popular shopping areas to measure body temperatures and even (in more advanced robots) urge and remind people to wear masks. Last weekend, the Bundesliga, Germany's top soccer league, resumed and no fans were allowed to enter the stadium. Players were encouraged to practice social distancing when celebrating goals or sitting on the bench. The new normal is astonishing, and very surprising, but it is for the greater good.

This is our new normal, in pictures, as presented by CNN.

The #newnorm at “work”

What is the new normal? It is certainly a way of living. Until someone finds a cure, our best hope--for a “normal”--lifestyle is accepting the newnorm. What is work going to be like, now that offices have allowed employees to return?

Nancy Rothbard, a management professor at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, employees, and employers, into two categories: integrators and segmentors. Integrators don’t mind the boundary between working from home and working at the office and segmentors have a distinct “line” that differentiates life at home, and life at work. In Rothbard’s own words, “When segmentors work from home, they don’t lounge around in their yoga pants all day. They like to get dressed with a purpose and sit down to work in a dedicated space, such as a home office, preferably with a door that can help keep out dogs, cats, kids and spouses.”

For a lot of companies, remote work is fairly new. Remote work does raise questions regarding accountability, and efficiency, amongst all employees. “Will they get the work done in time?” or “How can we keep track of (employee’s name) while they’re home?” Since most employees, around the world, are still working from home, why not take on remote work as a social experiment? Moving into the future, and thinking long term (obviously), remote work might yield the best results for employers, employees, and the company. But, you won’t know, if you do not try right? Like everything else, there is potential for successful remote work.

  • Throughout this whole chaotic mess, employees have proven that they are able to work, at the same level of efficiency at home.
  • Certain employees are extremely productive when they work alone at home than when they are in an office, with distractions slowing them down.
  • Managing directors, CEOs, or business owners could even consider extending remote work as (you hate to say it), a permanent option to employees who are able to perform at the highest level during these trying times.

How will the “new normal” affect interns

With companies already shifting to remote work, for the time being, interns can expect the same to happen to them. Remote work, or remote internships, are really the best bet to get as much work experience. Believe it or not, remote internships are actually perfect for college students and young professionals alike.

Be ready to report to your supervisor on a day-to-day basis. There are various ways in which your supervisor can keep track of you whether that is; counting your keystrokes or monitoring log-in screen time. Since you will not, physically, be at the office you are still expected to finish all the work assigned to you, on time.

Adaptability is an important trait that interns should learn to master during this “new normal”. In this context, be flexible with how you work. Know when to prioritize your tasks and learn new skills. The more diverse you are (in your skills), the higher the chances that your supervisors will trust you, and most importantly, like you.

Communicate efficiently and effectively. Always remember to communicate very clearly between you, your team members at work, and your supervisor. Remote internships are done at home so it is always important to understand what you are doing. Communicating effectively goes a long way. Later on you’ll be dealing with clients and you must be able to explain to clients what your company does. Looking at things on the bright side, you’ll learn to master a lot of communication skills and communication tools.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “If there was one life skill everyone on the planet needed, it was the ability to think with critical objectivity.” Rightfully so, critical thinking is one of the most important assets of every single employee and intern. Remote internships, or remote work, are not daycares. You won’t have your colleagues, or supervisors, right next to you all the time. Hence, learn to trust your instincts. Evaluate your decisions and execute the plan.

Apply for an internship with AIP!

The futures and possibilities of employment are endless. AIP offers both regular, and remote internships to all students year round and we are more than happy to assist you in whatever way possible. Building your resume and work experience is important. With the #newnorm in full effect, let AIP help you find your next best internship.

Learn more about our internships!