As many regions around the globe start to open up again, people will gradually begin to go back to working in their offices, hoping the worst is behind us. However, for most companies, returning to work will not mean a return to normal. Many employees feel confused, stressed, and anxious over the changes around them – regardless of whether this means having to commute in peak times, more people coming into work, or working close by colleagues and clients again. Companies are exploring new hybrid working plans, while others will consider a range of adjustments to how work is done to comply with the government’s Standard Operating Procedures.
Everyone’s situation is unique. However, as you approach your changed workplace, let’s explore ways to ease back into in-office work life!
1. Be kind to yourself
Go back to work with realistic expectations. It is a tough time for everybody, so it’s better to expect things to be different from having idealised expectations of your former workplace culture. As humans, we can find it challenging to adjust to new changes, so you’re not alone in dealing with stress or nervousness when returning to work.
2. One step at a time
How we all work is likely to keep changing, so you must keep adjusting. Don’t expect everything to return to normal quickly. We have a long journey ahead. We may not be able to return to our old ways of working for some time – if we are lucky, this could allow us to do things differently and better. Look out for yourself, look out for others and take each day and week at a time.
3. Control your stress response
Change is hard for everybody, and accepting the difference you will experience will cause anxiety and help you understand it effectively. Practising anxiety relief behaviour at home can be used in the workplace, such as making a cuppa of camomile tea, practising focused breathing techniques, and mindfulness meditation during the workday when you feel anxiety creeping in. Managing stress every day is critical to a triumphant return to work.
4. Make social distancing a priority
It is essential to maintain physical distance from each other even after returning to work, apart from the obvious things like avoiding the kitchen or break-out areas. You can phone or video call people, even if they are in the same building.
5. Opt for virtual collaboration
Virtual collaborations help you maintain physical distance even if you are back in the office. To avoid physical proximity in the workplace, you can opt for team collaboration tools for keeping your team together even when working from the same building.
There are countless tools available in the market that can help you in virtual collaboration. You can pick the one that suits your requirements and budget and make your return to work smooth and safe! Ensure that you switch from in-person discussions to virtual meetings or any other alternative possible whenever required.
6. Be each other’s support system
It is a difficult transition for everyone. Seek out individuals within your company willing to build a supportive relationship in which you talk openly (but constructively) about your challenges and brainstorm solutions. These people will understand your situation and offer better advice for your current role.