After Boris Johnson’s last announcement setting out the government’s plans to lift the remaining Covid restrictions, from the 19th July the current advice to work from home will come to an end.
For many of us coming back to the office is something positive, revitalising, and a way of getting back to normal. Taking up all of the things we lost due to the coronavirus pandemic: seeing colleagues face to face, a separate home and work life, the morning brew chit chat, the afterwork drinks, or simply the comfort of being in an office.
Nevertheless, others can feel anxious about the idea of coming back to the office, due to foreseeing problems or worried about stressful agendas, in addition to taking in the new protocols that each company establishes to keep a safe workplace. “Back to normal” can be a mix of emotions that we need to manage to ensure a smooth transition.
If you are feeling anxious about returning to the office, here is some things to consider which will help you cope better:
- Speak with your employer: People usually worry when going through an uncertain situation. Many employers are preparing the risk assessments to make sure that workplaces are safe. Getting as much information about how your workplace will be adapted will ease your worries about potential risks.
- Sharing your concerns, emotions, and fears constructively with your colleagues will make easier for them to help you. It may also open dialogue you didn’t expect – they too may feel similar. This is a unique situation we are all going through, and they will understand and support you.
- Hold onto your healthy habits: You will need to adjust your routines slightly but going back to the office doesn’t have to mean losing the joys of homemade food for lunch, or sacrificing your morning run. Many of us have taken up new habits during lockdown and keeping them up will help us face this transition in a more positive way.
As your new routines readjust it is important that we prioritise the new habits we want to keep so we can make them happen. That lunchtime yoga break? Swap it for a walk outdoors (if possible!) and do some breathing exercises at your desk.
- Be prepared: Understand your needs and how you are affected by the changes you are going through. Give yourself time and be patient while you find your way to “the new normal”.
- Get help: If you are struggling to manage the anxiety due to these changes, it is important to be honest with yourself and reach out to someone who can help.