Making the return to work after working from home might sound terrifying. Try these tips and strategies to help make the transition easier.
Is your company encouraging you to return to work?
No doubt they’re citing higher productivity levels or a desire for increased collaboration. Yet, there are many who feel anxious about returning to the office environment after more than a year of working remotely.
From COVID-19 health risks to childcare challenges, the general consensus is that workers prefer to stay at home.
However, if remote working is no longer an option for you, how can you return to working in the office in a way that best benefits you and your family? We’ve explored some salient points that you may find helpful.
Focus on the Benefits
Adjusting to working in an office again is not going to be easy, especially if you really don’t want to. As with anything in life, though, focusing on the benefits will help you to come to terms with your change in circumstances.
Parents can look forward to interacting with their peers and enjoying adult conversations again. We can benefit from brainstorming sessions with our creative counterparts. Friendships can be rekindled. Families can reclaim makeshift home offices (or the kitchen table) and experience the joy of a clean, professional workspace where their stationery stays in their desk drawer.
We can peel off those sweats and don the fetching, professional wardrobe that we’ve been hoarding. (Also, free coffee!)
Of course, we understand that platitudes glossing over the deep-seated anxiety caused by going back to work aren’t going to cut it for many of us. The pandemic and its host of knock-on effects have left mental and emotional scars that will almost certainly affect our work performance and abilities.
Reaching out to your manager, a coach, or a mental health professional to assist you through these difficult times may be exactly what you need. The good news is that most employers are aware that consideration of their team’s mental health needs to be high on their list of priorities. When it comes to psychological safety at work, some valuable recommendations have been laid out for employers.
Acknowledging how on-site work differs among employees and communicating how both positive and negative mental health impacts can occur
Implementing COVID-19 practices for protecting the health and safety of employees and their families (i.e., better air filtration, social distancing, easier access to COVID-19 testing)
Allow employees to adjust their schedules and offer hybrid/remote arrangements
Addressing issues directly by replacing discriminatory practices and negative attitudes with healthier ones that can improve employee morale
There are many positive steps that you can take to make the transition easier for you and your family. For example:
Declutter and freshen up your office space
Throw away old files, dead plants, and anything that you don’t need
Reestablish a stable sleep schedule a couple of weeks before returning to work
Work with your family to restore positive routines and a healthy work/life balance
Visualize yourself in the office and run through various scenarios to be mentally prepared
Return to Work with Ease
Whatever your circumstances are, don’t be too hard on yourself. This past year has been tough on everyone, and we all respond differently to these stressors. Recognize symptoms of stress and tackle them early, ask for help, and try to embrace the new season with as much vigor and excitement as you can muster.
Rather than return to work, 29 percent of employees would consider another remote position. If this rings true for you, then please feel free to contact our professional team. We are certain that we will find you the ideal position to suit your needs.