How to Transition Back to the Office?
After almost two years in this pandemic, companies and schools were remote completely during this time. As we’re seeing things open up again, we can’t help but ask - how will we transition back to “normal?”
Whatever normal looked like before, it definitely has changed since then. We’re approaching a new normal! While this may be exciting, it can be frightening and anxiety inducing. How will we deal with mask anxiety? Socializing and being extroverts?
Follow along as this guide will help reduce your fears for transitioning back to the new normal.
How do you feel about going back to the office?
First things first, are you comfortable going back to the office? There’s been a lot of debate surrounding this topic due to the prolonged remote work everyone got used to!
Be honest about how you feel about going back. If you are interested in staying remote or functioning under a hybrid structure, ask if there’s any possibility for it. If there is only one option and you’re not pleased, it’s time to ask yourself what do you value? Is your preference more important to you than your current role? Is it time for a new role?
It’s important to keep asking yourself questions to dig further and not feel stuck. The worst thing is feeling forced to go back to the office with no other options.
Think thoroughly through your overall life goals and determine what’s best for you at the moment!
Set Boundaries at the Office
Personal space has always been important, but it’s even more important to recognize now that we’re exiting a worldwide pandemic.
Be clear with these a few things before going into office:
- Am I comfortable chatting with a co-worker while social distancing or right next to them?
- Am I comfortable hugging or shaking hands with anyone? If not, how do I communicate this to avoid conflict?
Communicate your needs effectively to set clear boundaries! Everyone has different needs when it comes to the post-pandemic world, so be prepared before heading back.
How to socialize after isolation?
After working from home for such a long time, socializing in person again can be overwhelming and scary! It’s natural for us to feel more introverted than before given the situation.
First, understand that everyone dealt with the pandemic differently. Some people faced many challenges during this period, so don’t start the conversation in an attempt to catch up from the beginning of March 2020.
Next, ask them for their level of comfort with social distancing, masks, and hugging/shaking hands. It’s exciting to socialize again, but it’s important to understand their boundaries to feel safe with COVID-19.
Take a deep breath and just speak from the heart! The pandemic was definitely not fun, so take this time to laugh and enjoy the moment.
The more you start to socialize, the more you’ll feel "normal” again! It’s all about consistency to rebuild the neural pathways in our brains.
If you feel anxious or social awkwardness over a long period of time, consider speaking with a professional therapist to help!
Hope this transition guide helps you as you’re heading back to work and school. See you next week!