As we slowly but surely start easing out of lockdown, it has been very exciting to talk about getting back to ‘normal’. Enjoying a drink with friends, visiting the gym and indulging in some retail therapy are just some of the exciting things we are now able to do in the UK. If everything goes according to plan we can expect a further loosening of restrictions, culminating in the removal of all restrictions.
Of course , with the loosening of the restrictions comes the inevitable return to the office. The official guidance is to continue to work from home. However , despite many firms embracing work from home permanently, there will be a number of people heading back to the office.
Many people are actively looking forward to it. They miss the interaction with colleagues and in some cases, they even miss the commute!
There are however, many people who are extremely anxious about the return to the office. In a recent survey , only 1 in 3 signalled a desire to return to the office, even on a part time basis. Many people are extremely anxious about returning to the office. Employees are rightly worried about how safe their offices are and whether the correct measures have been put in place. Some are anxious about long commutes on crowded public transport. Indeed, there are many people who have adapted to working from home and appreciate the way it has improved their work life balance.
Individual circumstances will differ and people will be anxious for sorts of reasons. However , using the principles and guidelines below should help you keep the anxiety at bay over the next few months.
Stagger Your Return
Can you ask your employer to let you stagger your return? Perhaps you can go back to the office once or twice a week to give you time to adjust. Does the idea of travelling into work on public transport worry you? Why not try and travel in during off peak hours? You could even trying cycling or walking to work ( if possible).
Speak To Your Employer
If you are feeling anxious about your safety at work, the first thing to do is to find out what precautions have been put in place. This is the chance for you to raise any concerns you might have about the return. Your employer should be able to allay any fears you have about safety. It is important that you maintain an open line of communication with your line manager as you transition back to the office.
Plan Your Return
As well as planning how you will get to work think about what else will change.Will you be sitting at the same desk? Will you be with all your old colleagues? What will you do at lunch time? Planning and thinking about these things beforehand will help with your anxiey.
Be Kind To Yourself
Things won’t feel normal for a while. So do not expect everything to be ‘ok’ at once. The transition back to the office will take time. Be kind to yourself, beware of negative self doubt and overthinking. Self care will play a big part in your mental well being over this period.
So over to you…are you feeling anxious about the return to the office? What are your plans for over coming your anxiety? Drop a comment below.