Across the UK, restrictions are starting to ease as we come out of lockdown. As such, more businesses are opening up as each stage of the road map passes.


So, you’ve just got the email, it’s time for you to return to the office.


How are you feeling?


Are you excited to get back into a routine with social interaction? Or are you anxious at the thought of leaving the safety of your home?


If you’ve been working from home, returning to the office can feel like a big change. There are many steps employees can take to help ease their fears. In this blog, we’ll share the top tips for returning to the office if you’re feeling anxious.


Top 4 Tips To Help Reduce Return To Office Anxiety

1. Routine


The pandemic has changed ‘normal’ life, so our usual routine has changed. This includes work schedules and sleeping patterns. So, make sure you get into the swing of things, and most importantly give yourself time to adapt.


Maintaining a good and positive structure to your day helps you schedule in moments of happiness, time to reflect and embrace. These little periods can be a great mental health boost as well as a welcome distraction from our feeling of anxiety.


2. Be Kind To Yourself And Others


It is okay to feel anxious and distressed. This is an incredibly challenging time for everyone.


Be kind to yourself both physically and mentally. Exercise is a key factor for tackling stress and anxiety. Setting time, aside for activities can help you unwind and relax.


Something as little as going on a 15-minute walk on your break, soaking up the fresh air and taking in everything that’s around. But remember, don’t put too much expectation on yourself and your exercise routine, do as much as you can.


Other activities may include practising mindfulness and breathing techniques, reading, listening to music and taking a bath.


Mental wellbeing applications, such as Wellspace, can help manage feelings of anxiety through in-app sessions and daily logins of how you feel.


Just as signs of distress is contagious, so too is optimism, joy, gratitude and humour. Spread all the kindness around your team by being the source of positivity.


Get the ball rolling before you return to work by reaching out to your colleagues, invite them to share what they’ve missed most. Talk about your worries, make a point of having fun and find light-hearted ways to laugh about the environment you all find yourself in.


Think of your ideal colleague, and emulate them!


3. Positive Mental Attitude


Focus on the benefits of going back to work. For example, the workplace provides the opportunity to connect with other people, something we have been deprived of with working from home. Being physically present may help others who have struggled with isolation.


The pandemic has taught us plenty of things but one thing that stands out is the pleasure we get out of simple things. Such as seeing friends, being outside and enjoying nature and eating inside or outside of a restaurant.


Perhaps the pandemic has given us a new perspective and attitudes towards the little things like going to work, which will ultimately benefit our work/life balance.


When you start to feel anxious, you may find your breath quickens. Learning breathing techniques to manage and bring attention to your breath, can help you relax, and focus your mind. Here is a method you can try:


  • Breathe in for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 3 seconds
  • Breathe out for 6 seconds


The most important tip with this method is, make sure your stomach expands as you take in each breathe so that your breathing is deep rather than shallow.


If you feel you need more support, ask your GP or another health professional for support. Some charities can offer help and advice including Mind and Samaritans.


4. Speak with your employer and know what support is available


When people worry, it’s usually something related to an unknown certainty. When you’re returning to work you must get rid of the uncertainties. Ask your employer what precautions or measures are in place for your safety and wellbeing.


Speaking with your manager will provide you with all the information you need and the answers to any of your questions.


Organise a regular catch up with your manager. It might help to talk openly about how you’re coping with being back in the office. Creating a Wellness Action Plan is an easy, practical way of helping you to support your mental health, as well as your manager understanding and supporting you along the way.


Get In Touch


Our Wellness application allows employees to track their physical and mental wellbeing in a safe place. Our Wellspace Portal tailors’ activities from this data to sustainably improve your overall health and wellbeing, whether that be at work, or in everyday life.


If you’re looking for more information about the solutions we offer here at Wellspace, contact us. Alternatively, for additional advice and tips, head over to our news page.

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