After a false start in September 2021, companies are finally transitioning their employees back to the office. The office will more than likely look and operate differently because of the pandemic. As a result of COVID-19’s impact, some workers may be nervous about their return. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, says employees have anxiety about exposure to COVID-19, about less flexibility and about the commute to work.
Atrium Health’s Dr. Kayla Lyon, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist recommends the following to help manage the return to your office.
- Ease back into a work schedule by starting a routine leading up to the return. Create a consistent schedule that includes going to bed, a wake up time, dress for work and a normal work day timeline.
- Talk to your employer. Share your concerns and gather information about your work schedule and the work environment.
- Visit your workspace before officially returning to work, Allow yourself an opportunity to do a test run and prepare your workspace.
- Plan ahead. Pace yourself and consider mood boosting activities before and after work.
- Be considerate of your colleagues. Respect your co-workers and their concerns.
Lyon said, “just as it took many of us time to adjust to working from home, it will take time to adjust back to working in the office.” Companies have also been advised to create a comprehensive and easy to access Employee Assistance Program.