What is normal? Merriam-Webster defines normal as, “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern.” Then, what it the “new” normal term everyone is using? The Pandemic was a shot-gun blast to the American psyche. As of yet, a new standard has not emerged. There is nothing regular about the behaviors of the average American family. And the vast number of families are just muddling through each day. They haven’t found a rhythm. They don’t know what the future holds. There is no new normal. Not yet. So, all we must learn to rapidly adapt to the world as it changes around us. Let’s explore a few areas of change the new normal family must navigate.
The new normal family must embrace technology. Technophobes need to get with the program and reassess their beliefs given the socially distant society we now reside. Strategic use of technology is a must for the new normal family to adapt and thrive. Technology is not a replacement for face-to-face interaction, but it provides a much-needed substitute.
Embrace Non-Traditional Learning Methods
The new normal family must embrace changing methods in education. Most universities designed their distributed classroom environment long before the thought of the current pandemic. Financially, it made sense for them. They save on the cost of a physical location, maintenance, and utilities. It also meets the need of the non-traditional learner who works full-time and desires a more flexible learning environment. Therefore, high schools and colleges were able to rapidly pivot to online learning platforms on a mass scale. Some schools are currently considering a hybrid learning environment for this Fall. Many students will attend school in person 2-days per week and attend online the other 3 days. Flexibility is key to educating our children. Not only this Fall but for the foreseeable future.
Embrace Distributed Work Centers
The new normal family must embrace the changing work environment. Pre-pandemic roughly 9.8 million U.S. workers had access to tele-work according to the 2019 National Compensation Survey. However, this number has increased dramatically post-pandemic. But no one is sure of the exact number of remote workers. A University of Chicago study has identified 63 million U.S. workers are currently employed in occupations that may be performed remotely. Working from home brings unique challenges to parents who must balance work responsibilities and childcare. This problem is made worse by daycare and school closures. Remote workers report they miss the lack of community, and real-time collaboration. They also miss the visibility they need to advance in their careers. Working remotely has many positives, and negatives. But this distributed work environment is likely here to stay for millions of new normal families.
Embrace Online Financial Tools
The new normal family must familiarize themselves and embrace opportunities to manage their financial affairs online. Due to social distancing, good luck trying to talk to a bank teller face-to-face. Also, many merchants no longer accept cash. There is even a national coin shortage! Welcome to the world of digital banking. Chances are that your bank has an application you can download to your computer or phone. Maybe you have a check you’d like to deposit? Take a picture of it. Do you want to pay your electric bill? They have online bill pay for that. Now, you’d like to transfer money from your account? Just link and tap. You need to pay your babysitter? There is an app for that too. Do you need to talk to your financial advisor? You can video conference with him/her. They’ll share their computer screens so you can visualize exactly what they are explaining.
Meeting the Needs of the New Normal Family
At Apprisen we are embracing digital tools to meet the needs of the new formal family. For your convenience, we offer phone and video appointments. If you prefer, you may complete an all online financial review. We’ll coordinate with you electronically. IRIS, our online financial health expert, is available to answer all your questions in real-time via instant chat. At Apprisen, we will continue to adapt to meet your needs no matter what “new normal” is waiting just around the corner.
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