With stay at home orders lifting, many organizations are shifting gears and beginning to lay the foundation for teams to safely return to their offices. Meanwhile, some are building the framework for a hybrid or entirely virtual office. The solution is different for each organization, but one thing we share is that we’re all designing this world together. So take a deep breath, and remember to keep a few things in mind as you determine what this next phase looks like for your business:

Take time to strategize. When the coronavirus reared its ugly head in our communities, we all had to think fast and quickly develop plans to keep our people and businesses out of harm’s way. But, as we begin to phase back into our routines, we have the opportunity to plan our moves more carefully than we did during the initial shift. What do you know now that you wish you had known several months ago? Were there hurdles that you had to jump in the beginning that you can be more prepared for? This time around, you have a chance to train for the race.

Consider the tools that can make this transition easier (and use them). Whether it was video conferencing licenses, PPE, or collaboration tools, many organizations (us included) had to make additional investments to maintain business momentum. Which tools will continue to serve you as you bring your employees back into the office? If the virtual office is a permanent fixture, what additional tools do you need to support your business objectives? It could be a cloud phone system, or even as small as a laptop bag or headset.

The waters are still uncharted. Unprecedented. Dynamic. Unparalleled. Extraordinary. These are all words that we’re well used to hearing now, but their familiarity doesn’t detract from their meaning. Sure, things feel a little more normal now. But we’re still venturing into the unknown. You might still stumble along the way, and that’s okay. Certainly plan your comeback, but be flexible and learn to adapt as you go.

Celebrate your wins. Is this exactly how you thought 2020 was going to pan out? Unless you have a crystal ball, probably not. But, unlike ever before, we’ve had the unique opportunity to learn about the lives of our colleagues and customers. Somehow, through the distance, we’ve grown closer. An exercise in empathy and understanding is definitely a victory in our book.

When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time. Keep setting big, hairy, audacious goals. Identify milestones to help you achieve them. You’ll more easily be able to pinpoint when you may need to pivot, and more importantly, step-by-step and day-by-day, you’ll see yourself moving forward.

Although the flavor or our daily lives is a bit more familiar these days, circumstances are still evolving every day. It’s okay if the road ahead is long or your next move is unclear. One thing is certain: you’re not on this journey alone.