Anxiety about going back to work is common, especially for the nervous crowd who isn't a fan of socializing. However, returning to work with anxiety can have many serious impacts on the productivity and wellness of employees. Therefore, it is important to address work anxiety, and research in many studies emphasize the importance of overcoming work anxiety.
Work anxiety can have many serious short-term and long-term health effects and, if left untreated, can develop into serious depression and other mental issues. The whole focus of hybrid work arrangements is to facilitate employees in a way that they can manage their life around. But one aspect of a hybrid work schedule demands employees be in the office for a few days a week or a few hours, depending on the type of hybrid office you have chosen.
This could be a concern, especially when we have been so out of the practice of going to the office and start to get nervous about going back to office.
What is Back to Work Anxiety?
Back to work anxiety might seem like a tiny issue, same as returning to school after a long break, but it is pretty serious in some cases. Back to work can cause some serious mental health issues to employees, especially those who suffer from neurological disorders.
And if your job is difficult and demands too much from you, then getting stressed increases even tenfold. Workplace bullying, difficult relationships with higher management, poor work-life balance, and long commutes can all add up to return to work anxiety. People with already clinical anxiety tend to face more symptoms and have a hard time making this adjustment; they are also the ones who can reap the most benefit of a hybrid workplace or work-from-home regime.
How to Overcome Anxiety about Going Back to Work
If you feel like the time to go back to the office is coming closer, you are facing many return-to-work with anxiety symptoms and having a hard time dealing with issues, you must focus on handling anxiety. Handling anxiety the right way can sort out many issues for you and positively impact efficiency. Here are some ways to overcome return to work with anxiety.
When you return to work with anxiety, try to communicate and talk to your colleagues. Acknowledging your worries is step one, while communicating them is step two. If you are not open about what makes you stressed at work, there is no solution. It is also true that a toxic work environment cannot agree to your issues, but if your workplace isn't toxic, then you must speak to address the source of stress openly.
If your workload is the issue, it's worth respectfully bringing it up with your boss to figure out a solution. If your commute is a problem, ask about flexible working options, even if it's only working from home for a day or two a week or beginning and ending at alternative times to avoid rush hour.
Sometimes the stress is all about doing so much in so little time, and this could cause everyone to lose balance. However, accepting the return to work gradually and preparing for it will bring a lot of positive change in your mind.
Preparing is a good way for you to remove all the fear of returning to work with anxiety. Most of us are anxious about returning to work after a vacation, but planning may make the process easier. This may be pre-planning lunches and dinners, or double-checking that you've completed all of your duties before leaving, so you don't return to a mountain of work. Or you could also start connecting with colleagues to discuss how they are feeling about the return to work.
Be Kind to Yourself
This just doesn't fit the workplace only but being kind to yourself during every aspect of life is the key to addressing stress. Many of us will have a hard time adjusting to the new normal, just as we did when there was an upsurge in Covid in the first place. Don't think you have to learn it or accept it all in the first second. Make sure to give yourself some time to adjust and get back to routine to avoid return to work anxiety.
Also, on your first day back at work, don't try to go from 1 to 100. You'll need to go back into a new schedule, which might take some time to adjust. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, keep things basic at the start. Change is tough for us as humans, so you aren't alone in feeling anxious about returning to work after the lockdown.
A Good Routine
Sticking to a routine can help the human brain stay in peace. Our bodies are fond of habits, and uncertainty can cause stress. If the work aspect of your life is constantly under change, then make sure to have some assurance in other aspects of life.
Maintaining a healthy routine in your hybrid office and a positive framework for your day is a smart idea. Scheduling happy moments and appreciating the wonderful things in life may be both a mental health boost and a diversion from our worries. So, when you're not at work or in the days leading up to your return to work, spend time doing things you like, and make sure you do them regularly.
It is okay to get help for mental issues and return to work anxiety, just like it is normal to get any other part of the body treated. However, if you feel that none of the factors help overcome anxiety and the problem are your thoughts, seeking professional help is a good idea.
As your HR to understand your mental health and submit some notes from the doctor will help the organization adjust your mental health around the workload. Make sure you don't feel guilty about feeling out of place. Rather accept it and deal with it for a better future.
Developing Solutions for a Hybrid Workplace
A hybrid workplace is a mix of work from home and working from the office. Some people love the flexibility it offers, while some are not happy with how a hybrid work environment affects their ability to remain on one particular routine.
Using a hybrid work policy template is a good way to get your workplace smoothly on this track, and thanks to the vast choices, you can choose any policy or hybrid work model to begin your journey. However, it is important to start with something basic model, which will later be modified as per your organization's needs and employees' satisfaction.
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