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The Shift: Stay at Home to Safer at Home

Apr 24, 2020

Like many of you, our team is navigating our thoughts and feelings around the shift from stay at home to safer at home. Many of us are struggling with the idea of going back to our office space and how we show up in this larger frame of "reopening". 

Nonprofit professionals are compassionate, empathetic, and thoughtful, these characteristics lead us into social impact careers. So how do we face this new dilemma?

If we stay at home there are consequences. Yet if we don't there are consequences. Do we have an individual role and responsibility in supporting economic recovery? Will a choice inadvertently risk the health and lives of the community we serve and our teams? 

How do we protect ourselves? Our families? Greater humanity? Our reality is setting up to be an inner-conflict of personal values.

The weight of these decisions feels immense, and there are few guideposts. For each of you, the decisions you make in the next month (and beyond) will be personal and scary. We know, because we are making them too. 

We don’t have a map, but we do have solidarity and strength in numbers.

What the Association staff members feel:

  • 36% are anxious and uncertain about the consequences of returning
  • 29% are fearful for their health, the health of those around them and their community’s
  • 29% are cautiously optimistic while considering the precautions being discussed

What our members feel:

137 nonprofit professionals let us know how they feel when thinking about returning to their workspaces.

  • 32% are cautiously optimistic while considering the precautions being discussed
  • 25% are anxious and uncertain about the consequences of returning
  • 20% are fearful for my health, the health of those around me and my community’s
  • 7% are eager or excited to return to my workplace
  • 7% are relieved that we’re returning to a form of normalcy
  • 6% are indifferent, not too concerned, yet not too worried
  • 3% are unsure of what I’m feeling or I’m still processing

Colorado isn’t alone in feeling anxious or fearful when thinking about returning. Almost two-thirds (66%) of respondents to a weekly COVID-19 New York City Survey, the epicenter of the virus, expressed concern about returning to their jobs, and nearly half (49%) believe the city should wait until after June 1 to reopen non-essential businesses (CUNY School of Public Health & Health Policy).

To our friends and colleagues on the frontlines performing essential work and offering essential services, we see you, we appreciate you, and we applaud you. For those unable to WFH or unable to return to work, we are sorry and we are here to listen if you need us. 

It is our hope that the poll results inform leadership processes to prioritize your health, safety, and feelings about moving forward during this uncertain time. 

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