CORAL SPRINGS, FL - On Monday, June 1, I woke up at 6 am for the first time in months.  As I prepared for my Peloton ride, I was anticipating the events of my day.  I was returning to the office for the first time since March 20.  As I anxiously completed my workout, breezed through breakfast and emails, and got ready, I was already running late. 

Funny, I thought, there were no clients scheduled, so if I arrived at 9:10 instead of 9, was I really late?  Is this my new normal?

I have owned and managed a law firm in Coral Springs for the past 27 years.  My life today has two divisions, pre-COVID and post-COVID. 

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Pre-COVID, I was up by 6 am and out by 8:30 am rushing to Chamber events, client meetings and to my employees at the office. 

Post-COVID, I woke up without an alarm, started working by 7:30 am and exercised in the middle of the day right before lunch. 

During both time periods, I answered the same calls, met with the same clients, prepared the same work, employed the same staff, and somehow was able to get the job done.  This has been an interesting case study for me as a small business owner.

My millennial employees have told me in the past that they are able to work efficiently from home.  I did not agree because I could not see the effort that they were putting into the work so while I did permit remote work occasionally, it was not the norm. 

Post-COVID, it is our new normal and instead of blocking this, I have chosen to embrace it. 

Astonishingly enough, we have not missed a beat.  Don’t get me wrong, we have had our challenges during this time, but having our staff work effectively has not been one of them.  In fact, we are starting to plan for our future with this as a more permanent possibility.

Many of our Chamber businesses have experienced the same challenges in their businesses. 

All of us have had to restructure the way in which we do business.  Instead of networking and attending Chamber events in person, we are in Zoom rooms. 

Retail and food service have had complete disruptions to their old way of doing business, yet many of these businesses thought outside of the box and pivoted by offering curbside pick-up and delivery until they were able to reopen safely. 

The City has stepped up and offered assistance with grants and loans to our businesses and formed an economic recovery task force to work on getting us all back to work. 

I started living in this community 40 years ago this month, and I have never been more proud to represent the community than now in this new normal. 

Andrea R. Jacobs, Esq. is chair of Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber of Commerce.