“Back to school…” now means… “Back to the office” for many people. As offices begin to open up and employees return to their vacant desks, emotions are high for many. A lot has changed over the last 18 months, and many people are fully adjusted to the new norm of working from home.
But, as the routine begins to break, and some employees are asked to go back into the office again, there is quite a bit of nervousness and anxiety. Even if we set aside the very real fears about new coronavirus variants, waning vaccine immunity, mask (and even some vaccine) mandates, etc., it can be anxiety-inducing simply adjusting to a new schedule, new routine, and maybe even a new setting.
Assuming your leadership team has done its best to manage the risks associated with COVID-19, and the two of you have been able to find a mutual understanding about going back into the office, there is still some work you can do to manage the other anxieties. Here are a few suggestions to take that edge off:
Prepare ahead of time: Try to reduce stress by planning ahead. Lay your outfit out the night before so that it’s one less step in the morning. If you drive to work, check to see if your car has enough gas so that you’re not running late because you have to stop at a gas station. If you commute on public transportation then ensure you have your passes loaded and ready. Not everyone gets up as early as they used to! So, pack your work bag and lunch the night before so that you’re not running around in the morning and forget to bring your materials.
Allocate personal time into your morning routine: Try waking up a little earlier than needed to allocate time to yourself. Whether you have a few extra minutes to drink your coffee, go for a brief walk, read a few pages from a book, meditate, or write down daily affirmations. Start your day by doing something for yourself. This will create a positive and productive mindset that will carry with you throughout your day.
Take breaks: Find a safe place to stop thinking and just breathe. Maybe even relax with a quick nap in your car, if you can. Doing one or more of these things allows you to clear and reset your mind, and can be done any time of the day, not just at lunch – especially if any anxiousness starts to creep in. There has been much research done to prove the benefits of meditating every day and the energy that it promotes in the brain to help you perform better throughout the workday. Additionally, take breaks to socialize with coworkers. It has been over a year since you were able to chat with them in person. Check in with one another to see how each other are doing and to rebuild the relationships you had pre-lockdown.
Altogether, this last year was a lot to process for everyone and going back into the office and seeing people sounds intimidating. Be patient with yourself and others. Ensure you’re easing into things and taking care of yourself.
If you’re interested in even more ways to interact with employees, and help rebuild company culture, then contact a Marketing Innovators specialist today. We’re here to help make the transition seamless and stress-free.