4 Tips for an Anxious-Free Return to the Office
When you work from home, the coffee’s always hot, pants are always optional, and you never have to worry about the leftover salmon Ellen from accounting left in the fridge overnight.
There’s a seafood policy for a reason, Ellen!
And sure, working from home has its issues. For instance, some days might be a “show my face in Zoom meetings” kind of day. Where others could be a “no bra, oversized hoodie, my face is never seeing the light of day” kind of day.
Navigating the complexities of these situations requires poise, experience, and knowing which one of your co-workers will guilt you into turning your camera on.
The point is, working from home is the best. And if you’ve recently received a “return to office” notification – you might be feeling all sorts of anxiety and uncertainty. The good news is, our friends at Virtua Health put together these tips to help you have an easy transition from couch to cubicle. Let’s dig in.
1. Speak up!
If you’ve been working from home for a pretty significant amount of time, this is going to be a dramatic lifestyle change. We suggest voicing your concerns with your manager, letting them know your hesitations, and identifying room for flexibility – like working part of the week from home.
You’ll be surprised by how understanding your boss can be when it comes to protecting your emotional well-being.
2. You’re not alone
In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 78% of people working from home want to continue doing so. When you’re summoned back to an in-person work setting, remember you’re not alone in your feelings.
Reach out to your work besties, vent about it, and build a support system. It might sound simple, but it goes a long way in keeping you anchored, knowing you’re in this together.
3. Expect the expected
When you return back to the office, you’ll be returning back to your co-workers. Your Slack conversations will become actual human conversations. And there’s a chance that the loud-talking, office gossip, and cubicle drop-bys could become overwhelming.
Step 1 is taking a deep breath and not allowing your emotions to get the best of you. Step 2 is to be honest and open with them, letting them know (in a polite way) that their behavior is disruptive. And step 3 is to remove yourself from any situation that makes you uncomfortable, like office gossip, for example.
4. Say no, with confidence
Transitioning back to the office can be a wildly jarring experience. Being around people might be really weird and awkward – and could even be a shock to your system.
Don’t be afraid to respect yourself and your time. You do not have to say yes to every meeting. In fact, we suggest putting time on your calendar just for yourself. Go a step further and book a conference or meeting room and use that space to get some quiet work done.
And while we’re on it, say no to as many happy hours as you’d like. They’re not that much fun anyway.
For more tips about health and wellness, connect with our friends at Virtua Health. They’re South Jersey’s largest health network, and they’re on a mission to help you be well, get well, and stay well.