As many of us start to move from working at home, to either partially or fully heading back into a workplace environment, it can feel like you’re on uneven ground. You’re not familiar with your surroundings as much, haven’t seen colleagues in person, and have lost connection and routine in the workplace.
Ways to transition yourself back to your workplace, considering your wellbeing –
Prioritise self-care by maintaining positive habits –
Whilst lockdown and parts of managing work, life, and a pandemic have been are very difficult, there is a silver lining for some. Many of us have experienced more spare time, picked up a new hobby or reignited an old interest. It’s still important to prioritise self-care, so continue to fit the things that put you in a good headspace into your life, even though you may be back in the workplace now.
Even if you’re likely to be shorter on time, don’t abandon these behaviours.
Manage your information intake –
We’ve become accustomed to updates from the media on virtually everything, all the time! Ensure the information you’re receiving is reliable, and remember that advice from regulators and the government is designed to enable safe ways of working. Try and embrace new information from your employer as well, as they will have your best interests at heart, and will be passing on any information the government announces relating to workplace environments.
Understand what constitutes a mentally healthy workplace –
With so many people experiencing altered work arrangements and locations this past year, the grey area between professional and personal has been blurred like never before. Although unemployment has been a result of this pandemic, many businesses are really busy in response to the effects of COVID-19, and some employees have been working longer hours than normal.
Everyone has a role to play in helping create to a workplace that’s ‘mentally healthy’. With so much change to our ways of working, this period of transition is the ideal time to make sure you’re across workplace mental health risk factors, in order to avoid them.
By doing so, you can reduce the likelihood of burnout and increase your overall job satisfaction.
Celebrate the opportunity to reconnect –
If you’ve been working from home, you may have found some unexpected perks of the situation, such as no long drives or rides on public transport, and additional spare time. However there’s a lot we have lost. Things we may have once upon a time taken for granted; morning coffee runs with colleagues; team social catch ups (in person, not on Zoom!); talking to a co-worker to ask a quick question; passing ‘hellos’ with a smile in the hallway. This has all been missed for so many.
As you begin to transition back to your workplace, whether it’s an office or a worksite, enjoy the little things that have been absent over the last year. Take the time to have that one-on-one conversation with a colleague. Visit your regular café, just like you used to.
They might seem small, but these actions can help with establishing some normality back into your routine.
Written by Rebecca Deane – Clinical Psychologist – www.creatingchange.net.au