From our first Covid-19 alert in January through March’s pandemic proclamation and up until recently, the world and the mobility industry has been in crisis mode.
In what seemed like an overnight timeframe, everything changed. Borders were closed, often without much notice, and employees were left stranded in locations worldwide. Those on assignment could not get home, and those waiting to leave and preparing to go were placed on hold, becoming relocation fossils, frozen in whatever part of the process they were in at the time.
Supply chains have worked double time assisting assignees to coordinate housing, food delivery, and navigate foreign language local requirement announcements. New services have been created to provide safe arrivals to locations under lockdown and when meeting face-to-face is not possible. Every move has been managed on an individual basis, and the focus of everyone involved has been to do whatever necessary to assist assignees and families.
The pace of change has transformed from dramatic to incremental, and we have entered a dichotomy of ongoing alterations while having a broad framework for what comes next. The pandemic continues, but the crises in which it threw global mobility has mostly passed, and we have moved on to the next phase.
Welcome to the “Now Normal.”
This is not the new normal where we will have returned to some semblance of stability to continue with our lives and slowly forget today’s challenges like challenges of the past. This is the interim place between the chaos of crisis and the return to normal.
While the New Normal will be a place where benefit policy and long-term planning are productive exercises, the Now Normal is characterized by constant change and the need for flexibility to address short-lived problems with appropriately temporary solutions. Standing in contradiction, the Now Normal does have some recognized traits. We can generalize based upon experience so far, some cause and effects that will help give shape to the unknowable and will permit a minimum amount of prediction and planning for it.