It sure is a weird feeling when you look back at the past 2 years, living in a lockdown condition while a pandemic wrecks havoc outside. Who would’ve thought we would grow to like work from home instead of braving the traffic and metro rides to get to work!
However, with cases subsiding, companies have started calling their employees back to the office. Many had returned to their hometowns due to the pandemic and with the call to return to work they have to start returning, which means house hunting and bidding adieu to the homely luxuries.
During such a phase, although it is natural to start feeling anxious about house hunting, managing work, setting up homes all over again, traveling in public commutes, etc, the news can affect everyone differently.
In this blog, we will address your concerns to tackle anxiety about returning to work.
Acknowledge and accept your troubles
To acknowledge and understand the most basic step to address the source of trouble. So, first, check what is causing you stress and how it is affecting you. Next, take one step at a time and try to de-stress by engaging in any activity of your preference.
For example, if you are feeling stressed about relocation causing an emotional upheaval and affecting work, then first acknowledge and accept that it is causing you stress.
You can then try to address it by either talking about it with the people in your office (Manager, HR) and/or your family. You can also destress by doing what you love the most and find relaxing. However, if you feel too overwhelmed about it, then you can ask for leave for a day or two.
Also, overthinking about the virus and your safety won’t solve anything. You will be back in public spaces and you have to accept that you can’t control the way others behave. Instead, consider your safety and do the needful.
Ease yourself into a discipline during the transition phase
Companies usually give a minimum of a week or two’s time for residential employees and a few days more for outstation employees.
Indeed you have a lot to undergo, especially after getting used to the work from home routine for the past 2 years, so, take the transition time to slip into the return to work routine.
Take one day at a time and plan accordingly
So, you have received your email to return to work and you’re already stressed about it. Instead of worrying about the could-be consequences, it is best to take things one day at a time. Breathe!
Sit down and plan out your day as you have always done before work from home came into existence or even when work from home began. Check for the days you have to be in the office and chalk out your week’s work plan accordingly.
For example, if you think your productivity is better at home, then you can organize meetings and other team-inclusive tasks on the days you visit the office.
Remember, you might have to go through a little permutation and combination before you settle down into a routine. To keep yourself sane, ensure you take some time for yourself to unwind and do what you love be it gardening, playing a sport, meditating, etc.
Address your concerns
Your next step is to address your concerns. Yes, the impact of the virus may have reduced but not completely gone away and it is natural to have concerns about the precautionary measures in place.
Once you are informed about returning to work, you can get in touch with your Manager or HR and put forth your queries. This can help you get clarity and make arrangements for yourself accordingly.
Or if you are a new parent who has been called back to work, sit down with your partner and family (if you are staying together) and chalk out a plan to deal with the situation seamlessly. If both partners are working, you can sit down and decide to man the field accordingly.
For example, you can talk to your team and head to work on Monday and Wednesday while your partner can opt for Tuesday and Thursday. In case your organization has a creche facility, you can ask your HR whether it will be functioning and if so what are the precaution measures in place, etc.
Take serious account of your symptoms
It is alright to feel anxious, the last 2 years have brought about many changes in our lives, and the notification to return to work can cause disruption to your well-settled lifestyle and routine.
Now, this news can affect everyone differently. Some might feel overwhelmed, while some might not feel any effect at all. In case you are someone who is feeling extremely anxious and nervous, do not ignore it and ask for help.
The dawn of the pandemic has introduced many online therapy facilities which you can avail yourself of from the comforts of your home as per your preferred time.
The past years have taught us not to take mental health for granted and it is a lesson we should not do away with even when the normal is peeping around the corner.
Don’t over consume information
Over-consuming information is bad for your mental health as you might feel overwhelmed by the various viewpoints of people.
Transmission of information typically acts like the game Chinese whisper where the actual information might get distorted by the time it reaches you.
So, to ensure you have the right information, read news from verified news sources only. You can even avail yourself the route to your office one non-working day to get the hang of the conditions if you feel too nervous or anxious about the conditions of public transport.
It is safe to conclude that the notification to return to work has come as a breather for many employees as it breaks the mundane routine of working from home. But on the other hand, it can be overwhelming for many as they might have undergone a lot of changes over the past two years, like relocating to their hometowns, getting married, starting a family, so on and so forth.
Hopefully, these tips will help you tackle your anxiety as you prepare to return to work.