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How Will the Return to Work Influence Workers' Mental Health?

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By Josh Piers - - 5 Mins Read
After two years of working from home, working from the office again can feel weird. Returning to work in an office after two years of being compelled to make decisions by the pandemic may feel like another loss of agency. Working from home used to be a flexible arrangement you could negotiate with your boss. Employees were able to choose a work-life balance that suited them. COVID arrived in 2020. Working from home and homeschooling became necessities. Both of these factors contributed to varying degrees of anxiety and tension.  According to McKinsey data published in June 2021, one in three persons claimed that returning to work had a detrimental influence on their mental health The greatest approach is to create psychologically secure working settings that promote harmonious and productive effort, locations where individuals can be inspired and leave each day satisfied. This does not have to take place in a regular office setting. There are practical considerations for everyone who has been working from home for years, whether they are returning full-time or transitioning to a hybrid approach. They could include nervous pets, lingering COVID anxieties, and children's requirements. Balancing all of them is mentally taxing job. There are a few psychological techniques that may help you handle your return to work.

Keeping the juggle in mind.

[caption id="attachment_10355" align="alignnone" width="908"] Many office workers are anxious about returning to work post-COVID lockdowns.[/caption] While working from home has its drawbacks, it has the potential to simplify some of your regular tasks. Simply acknowledging that returning to work and the commute will place new demands on your time and energy can be beneficial. Preparing lunch, factoring in a commute, and scheduling childcare drop-offs are just a few examples. It's important to remember that, as a result of the events of the last few years, our central nervous systems have likely become more susceptible to stress, which can show as sensory overwhelm, weariness, and irritation. This juggling act is likely to continue at work, with initially lower productivity as you create new routines and reconnect with coworkers.

Recognize your feelings and look for solutions to relieve stress.

Simply expressing your feelings and identifying the things that bother you the most can be beneficial. Once you've identified what's bothering you, it may be beneficial to engage in some problem-solving activities. You could also seek for simple methods to be more kind to yourself at this time. Giving yourself permission to take some time to readjust could entail temporarily changing your fitness and social routines. It's important to remember that we only have so much time in a day, and when work expands to take up more physical space, other responsibilities will most likely have to be cut down for a period. As we get into a habit, this equilibrium will most likely correct itself. [caption id="attachment_10356" align="alignnone" width="722"] Work culture is set to change as workers return to offices.[/caption]

Kindness is important.

Kindness extends to others, and it's crucial to keep in mind that many others may be dealing with this lifestyle change as well. It can be beneficial to temporarily put less focus on productivity and instead spend time rebuilding connections with coworkers. As you negotiate this moment, this could be a useful talk to have with your boss.

Consider the advantages.

While going back to work can be challenging, there are certain advantages for most of us. The ability to socialize with colleagues, new lunch venues, a change in setting, and a separation between work and home are some of the good changes connected with a return to work. [caption id="attachment_10358" align="alignnone" width="864"] Employers must proactively recommit to operating in line with their values while ensuring medical and compliance standards.[/caption]

Keep in mind that the discomfort of change will pass.

Change can be distressing during the early adjustment period, and this is an important lesson to remember. You have likely handled many changes during the epidemic with flexibility and resilience, and despite the discomfort, you will most likely find methods to navigate this shift as well.

Creating a healthy work environment.

After two years of multiple adjustments and cognitive leaps, it's reasonable that the prospect of yet another major change makes you feel tired and anxious. As you become used to returning to work, it's good to recognize this and treat yourself with respect and care.