How to Navigate the Post-COVID-19 Workplace

Getty Images (Getty Images)

It’s a new day, and no one is exactly sure what that means for the salon industry. Although I am unbelievably grateful for my health, I must admit that the return to the salon was a bit jarring. 

During my first week back at work after closing due to the pandemic, I experienced a mix of emotions and challenges. I very quickly realized that I would also have to find a way to effectively deal with clients who were experiencing the same. After my first few clients, I realized that a good mantra to follow in this time of uncertainty is “Easy Does It!” Take the time to allow each person—client and staff alike—to have their own experiences surrounding the current state of the world. Many people are full of fear, and that’s OK. Allow people have their fears as you try to focus on listening and staying positive. Don’t feel pressured to solve everyone else’s problems.

As a salon owner, another challenge I faced when returning to work was coping with the new safety protocols, such as

1. Wearing a mask, and having clients do the same

2. Checking each client’s temperature upon arrival

3. Increased sanitation and disinfection procedures

4. Proper social distancing

Challenges aside, I have found a few silver linings in bits and pieces of the newness. For one, my salon is a bit quieter and more peaceful with social distancing standards, seeing fewer clients in the salon at one time and creating breaks between appointments to allow for a slower, more relaxed pace. When client visits are spaced out, you can better ensure that each client feels pampered and taken care of. A slower pace also gives you a chance to catch up, focusing on booking clients who have been patiently waiting. A way to ensure that you are prioritizing self-care in this new climate is to schedule time in between clients for deep breathing, relaxing, hydrating, shorts walks or meditating. 

Be sure to take your self-care habits home with you at the end of the day. Allow yourself to rest when needed. If you need to take a nap when you arrive home, do it! Be mindful of the importance of diet as well, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Our bodies are our temples, and when you’re on your feet all day, taking care of your body is of the utmost importance. Drink your water, stretch and practice yoga!

It’s difficult at times to keep things in perspective. I remind myself nightly of how blessed I am to be alive and healthy enough to run a business. A lot of people have suffered greatly during this time, both mentally and physically, and many have lost loved ones. First and foremost, take care of yourselves and your loved ones. If nothing else, this experience has been a great reminder of how precious life is, and how we must all work together to make this world a healthy, safe and loving place to be.