The questions of, “how do I return to work after Covid-19?” and “how can I consider going back to work after quarantine with all the risks that are out there surrounding the virus?” may be ever-present in your mind. Though more and more people are getting vaccinated and preparing to return to work, working from home has become the new normal as the work-life balance has been flipped inside out and upside down. Despite it all, you have managed to push through and developed your work from home routine. Appreciating the simple pleasures of having an office setup is most persons’ reality. The old way of interaction and togetherness once shared in the office seems to be no more.
What greets you when you occasionally pop by the office occasionally is the new office environment setup that may very well become a natural exchange. An environment where routine temperature checks, round-the-clock disinfection and sanitation, office and cubicle layouts designed to create distance between colleagues, and graphene antiviral masks covering the frowns and smiles expressed throughout the day are the norm.
Considerations and Solutions
Lately, the government and health officials have begun experimenting with the reopening of various businesses and organizations for public use. This means it’s time to start thinking about going back to work as many states begin to loosen their restrictions and open office buildings and business back up to pre-pandemic levels. While this may be something to celebrate, it is still uncertain and can trigger fear in many who are not yet ready to return to working in an office. As interesting as quarantining has been, there is continued anxiety about a post-Covid world. Consider the following in managing your anxiety and transition back into the office.
Respect and Acknowledge the New Regulations
Most, if not all workplaces are going to need to adapt or change the way they used to function before closing. Specific guidelines and protocols have been created for various work sectors that are geared towards making sure cleanliness and adhering to proper health standards in the prevention of a Covid-19 case resurgence. It is necessary for managers to conduct a return-to-work testing for employees when returning to work after coronavirus. To foster trust in the workplace, it is each person’s responsibility to abide by, recognize, and respect the guidelines and protocols implemented.
Think about Setting Boundaries
Consider what makes you safe versus what makes you comfortable. All personnel must follow the new measures implemented for safety to ensure a safe, comfortable environment and healthy work relationship is maintained. Yes, you love being close, laughing, and sharing with your coworkers, but the circumstances are different now. If one colleague continuously comes too close for your comfort and is reaching out to touch you, say something. Set a personal boundary right then and there. Remind persons that they can use the phones or send emails instead of coming over.
It Is Not a Sprint but a Marathon
There was an expression by the government to phase into public life, and with each phase, there are regulations in place for individuals and workplaces to follow. Jam-packing the offices and stores with everyone from all the departments is a no-no. It is a slow experiment tracking each person’s health and safety, and if that goes well, a slow transition might happen.
Remember to be careful, trust the regulations, community members, and your capability to establish firm boundaries in cases where logical discomfort can present itself. This pandemic requires us to gradually adjust the way we live and work—it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Awareness and Anxiety
Understand your anxiety, its intensity, flare-ups, and how to control and work through it when it is necessary to do so. Venturing out into the workplace considering the situation and how dismantled the society has been over the last few months can cause one to panic. This is even more reason for you to be able to recognize and effectively get through it. Employers need to do a return-to-work survey to know what employees want and expect from the workplace before getting back to work.
Acknowledgment provides you with more control over the experiences you have, acquiring tools that help manage your workspace better and support tracking and tracing, as well as to cope with anxiety after covid and move towards safety. So, even when the situation makes you nervous, uncomfortable, and anxious, you can pick up the signs and start your coping technique before things escalate.
Finding a Connection
Your workplace may feel like a completely different place with all the new rules, requirements, and energy that was not there before. The pandemic has been efficient in teaching lessons and giving perspective. Take this as the ideal opportunity for you and your coworkers to share while wearing your face mask for Covid-19 of course. Remember what the last few months were like. Think of the experience, lifestyle changes made, coping mechanisms, and stress relief methods.
How do you plan on approaching work, life, parenthood, and adulthood differently due to the Covid-19? Who knows what can come up in conversations? Once you are finding ways to bond over the crisis, a connection can be established, and going back to work after quarantine may not be strenuous after all.
What You Need to Know
Things are no longer the same as they used to be. You need to be careful when going back to work after quarantine. There are many protective elements that you must not ignore, such as your health and safety, your co-workers’, and your families’. While you are used to enjoying a chit-chat and a coffee break in effective breaktime with all the members of your department while standing or seated closely in the breakroom, that can no longer be a thing.
Your face mask, your bottle of sanitizer, and observing the social distancing protocols are now your best friends in going back to work after Covid. While anxiety after covid is real, practicing controlling yourself when you become anxious and following the health regulations stipulated, can help to release some of the pressure.
You can never look at some social activities the same again and this can become the new norm. Looking out for each other is one way of ensuring you all make it through the pandemic. Isolation and quarantining can send many persons into depression. Human beings thrive on interaction, so look out for one another.
Though you need to maintain a physical distance, it doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to be there for each other.
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