Many people who’ve been working from home or Furloughed are preparing to return to work.
People are getting vaccinated. The news in the media is less frightening. We have dates to look forward to. The weather is getting warmer and there’s a buzz in the air that feels like ‘hope’. Or does it?
‘Hope’ – noun: ‘a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen’. ‘A feeling of trust’
However, many of the people I’ve been speaking to, say they’re feeling something else.
‘Anxiety’- noun: ‘a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome’.
Concerns ranged from travelling on public transport, to wearing face masks in the office. Creating a new routine of leaving the house, rather than just moving from the bedroom to the lap top via the kitchen, is another change.
There are worries about interacting in office ‘small talk’ and ‘water cooler chat’. Those working from home hadn’t worn office clothes for over a year and worried they may not fit!
Some people hired during the pandemic have never actually met their colleagues in person. They only know each other from the small virtual screen that’s Zoom or MS Teams. They have no idea, for example, how tall their colleagues are in real life or how they present themselves face to face.
Other anxieties included:
- getting accustomed to self managing
- starting a new routine, earlier starts, going back to the 9 – 5
- not knowing what to say – some staff may be grieving
- worried about being less productive with interruptions from colleagues
- personal energy levels going up and down
- meeting people in person who have only been on screen
Everyone agreed there was comfort in knowing others could be feeling the same.
Here are some of the suggestions that came up in the workshops:
- Recognise, appreciate and praise yourself for what you have already achieved over the last 12 plus months.
- Remind yourself of your skills, strengths and how you have adapted and coped.
- Set workable boundaries with regard to your time and energy levels, be kind to yourself.
- Factor in some time to go outside, get some fresh air and move around more freely.
- Be open and speak to people about how you feel as they may be feeling the same as you, be kind to others.
- Enquire about easing back slowly with possible staggered start times or flexi time.
- Be aware of your language, keep it positive and engaging.
- Appreciate how others feel at work and take time to understand yourself and others.
If you’d like to have a chat with me about your career options, why not arrange to have a free 30 minute career conversation with me.
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