After over two years of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are beginning to expect their employees to return to the office whether that be five days a week or partially working remotely from home with some days in office. However, some people may be finding this rather daunting or anxiety provoking for a number of reasons. Some may continue to be worried about what seems to be the never-ending waves of COVID cases and fearing that they might get sick or bring it home to their families. Others may be worried about entirely different aspects such as having not been in professional work environments for an extended period of time, not being comfortable in crowds or busy offices, or simply being nervous about the adjustment.
If you are finding that you are one of the many people that are uneasy about heading back to the office it may be pertinent to consider taking time to reflect on what is provoking this feeling. What aspect about working from the office is less than pleasant? What aspect about working from home is preferable? Is there something that makes you more relaxed? More productive? More comfortable? Would bringing or incorporating some of the things that make working from home more pleasant to the office be helpful in this transition period?
Additionally, as you prepare for this transition clear communication both with yourself, your co-workers, and your supervisor can be beneficial in navigating this change. Recognizing in yourself what you are and are not comfortable with in this environment can help you determine your boundaries as well as establish what helps you manage this discomfort.
Finally, it is important to remember to have self-compassion in a time like this where you may be faced with a greater deal of stress from a variety of factors such as being unsure of how to navigate a new work environment, feeling exposed to the virus, or comparing yourself to others who are unphased by this transition. Be kind to yourself and recognize that everyone is different and it may take time to adjust to the new norm.