Returning To Office After Lockdown / COVID...

After so much time at home, it’s not surprising that the idea of returning to the office may fill some with anxiety and concern. With so much time spent in the safe cocoon at home, sharing elevators, dressing up, not to mention having to be constantly ‘on’ is enough to worry anyone! So how can we move past the fear and stride into the office feeling bold and ready to get back to it? We asked Career Coach and Job Search Strategist Evelina to give us some tips. She’s empowered hundreds of individuals to identify fulfilling career and change careers and is an expert in helping women to achieve their career goals and become their most confident, stylish and happiest selves. Here are the given scenarios from our readers if you are returning to office:    

1.“Honestly, I don’t want the lockdown period to be ended…one of the main reasons is I really hate long commutes to work, not because of the germs I might get from public transport but the time I have wasted on the Tube…argh!”

    Evelina: It’s completely understandable. Commuting can take a big chunk of our lives. In situations where you can do very little to change them (unless you move closer to your office or quit your job) it’s important to change your perspective. Instead of viewing a long commute as a waste of your time, look at it as an opportunity to do the things you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. Make this time your time for personal growth. Ask yourself, “‘what do you keep saying you want to accomplish but were not able because of the lack of time? What can you do during your commute that you are having trouble making time for elsewhere?’” Do you miss reading for fun? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to start watching this TV show that everyone is talking about? Your commute time can also be used to reflect. What about if you take time each week during your commute to check in on your goals? This will help you to stay on track and make adjustments. It's also the perfect time to think about what makes you happy and what areas of your life could be improved. Lastly, maybe you could bike to work? While it's unlikely to make your commute shorter, starting or finishing the day with some physical activity can keep your brain sharp, in addition to keeping your body in shape.    

2. “I quite enjoy working from home! I think I am even more productive than I am working at office, but I am getting really comfortable of doing everything under one roof. And now, I feel anxious about going back to office next week.”

    Evelina: First of all, I would like to tell you that you are not alone. Many people are experiencing this at the moment. It’s only natural to feel a little bit uneasy. Adapting to any kind of change is difficult and when you add the fact that you might still feel anxious about catching coronavirus and transmitting it to others, it’s hardly surprising that you are feeling anxious about returning to the office.  Secondly, I suggest you ask yourself what is that you feel most anxious about? Is it the commute? If your commute is the source of your anxiety, ask your line manager whether you can work flexibly so you can travel outside of busy periods or work from home a couple of days a week. Most importantly, I would like to encourage you to share your feelings with your boss and colleagues. There’s no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about speaking up! Chances are, they’re feeling the same. If you’re feeling anxious about returning to office. Lastly, you need to start getting into a routine you used to have before the lockdown. That means going to bed and getting up at a similar time as you would on a normal work day. Getting into a routine can help to reduce feelings of anxiety, but make sure you give yourself enough time to adapt.

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