Successfully Transitioning Back to Work

Going Back to Work

It’s time to get back to work.

For millions of Americans, returning to work after the pandemic is equal parts anxiety-relieving and anxiety-provoking.

On the one hand, getting called back to work after a layoff or furlough means earning much-needed income. And even if you’ve been working remotely, going back to your office promises a return to some sense of normalcy.

But on the other hand, transitioning back into the workplace can create new worries over health, safety and what daily life in the office will be like. As you prepare for your new normal, use these tips to successfully transition back into office life:

  • Realize that some anxiety is to be expected.
    Weeks of uncertainty and isolation may have taken a psychological toll on you. Now that you’re headed back, it’s perfectly natural to feel unsure about how things will change. Try to focus on what you can control: your attitude, the quality of the work you perform, and the measures you can take to keep calm.
  • Understand your options.
    Many workplaces are still allowing remote work. If you’re in a high-risk category for serious complications from coronavirus, find out if you’re able to work from home for now.
  • Find out your employers’ plans.
    Most companies are proactively communicating reopening plans with their employees. If you haven’t been notified, reach out to HR to find out what you need to know. Take time to carefully review the information you’re provided, so you understand what to expect, how to prepare, and how to comply with protocols (e.g., hand washing, using shared spaces, maintaining social distancing). Knowledge is power, and it can greatly ease your concerns about transitioning back into the office.
  • Do your part.
    Whatever guidelines you’re required to follow, protect your personal health and set a great example for others. Wash your hands thoroughly. Use hand sanitizer. Wear required personal protective equipment. Stay home if you feel ill. And if you start feeling ill while you are at work, notify your manager immediately.
  • Reconnect with your coworkers.
    After being separated from your team for weeks, returning to work may feel like returning to civilization after being stuck on an island. Take time to check in with your colleagues and reestablish personal connections.
  • Take advantages of the resources your company provides.
    If you’re struggling to get back into the swing of things, talk to your manager. Find out what resources are available to promote your mental health and well-being.

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