For many people, the silver lining to the pandemic has been the ability to take a step back from the stresses of everyday life, stop commuting and work from home. As the economy is revving back into gear and staff is being asked to come back into the workplace, re-entry anxiety is a very real issue. While some are ready to get back, many are hoping to continue these new routines and are dreading the return to an office environment. A recent survey of professionals by staffing firm Robert Half really paints a picture: they found one in three professionals currently working from home would quit and look for a new job if required to go back to the office full time.
Not all of us have the option of continuing to work from home full time. So, what can you do if you’re about to return to the office and are experiencing anxiety? Here are a few tips to help:
- Talk to your employer about whether you can work from home part time: The past year taught many employers that working from home in some capacity is possible and brought out the best in many workers. The hybrid work model is increasingly popular and many employers are embracing the concept to increase worker morale and reduce turnover.
- Do a few trial runs and visit the workplace without having to work: The anticipation of “what’s going to happen” is often worse than the reality. The more you put yourself in the environment that you’re worrying about, the easier it will be to make the transition.
- Use breaks to de-stress: Take 10-minute breaks throughout the day to focus and ground yourself. If you started a meditation practice during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to keep it up. Even some deep breathing exercises can be calming if you find yourself feeling anxious throughout the day.
- Be patient with yourself: Getting back to ‘normal’ takes time and be patient with yourself as you adjust. The length of the transition varies from person to person. Remind yourself that going back to the office will eventually feel like a normal part of life again and will have advantages, as well as challenges.
Going back to the office may seem like just as big of a life-changing transition as it was to switch to remote work. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s important to acknowledge it! Leah M. Joppy and Associates can work with your office to find productive ways for team members to feel safe and comfortable returning to the workplace. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.