After a few years of a global pandemic, derailing our work lives and forcing millions of people to work from home, disrupting their personal and professional lives altogether – employers are now ready to bring them back to the office. But, for a lot of people, this recall has resulted in several return-to-work concerns that have led to anxiety, fear, and dread.
As per a survey by McKinsey, one in three out of the 1600 workers consulted reported the return to work had negatively impacted their mental health. Another survey by Godrej & Boyce found that eight out of 10 workers believed returning to the office would compromise their healthy lifestyles.
These return-to-work concerns complicate the ideas of almost all companies looking to get accustomed to the post-pandemic world. It’s essential to address these concerns for employers as otherwise, it can translate into a massive mental health crisis.
But why are so many workers worried about getting back to work?
In this post, we’ll break down employees’ biggest return-to-work concerns and how to deal with them. Let’s get started.
The Biggest Return-To-Work Concerns
1. Workers are worried about getting into a rigid work schedule.
Working from home has resulted in a newfound flexibility and balance for people. Therefore, one of the biggest return-to-work concerns is losing out on that flexibility as they return to work.
One of the best ways to deal with this concern is to think about what part of your office life feels demanding enough to ruin your balance. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s important to take these concerns to your supervisors and chalk out a workable middle ground where you aren’t burdened, and your productivity isn’t compromised, either.
2. You are worried about the small talk you’ll have to engage in.
The lockdown has been a blessing in one aspect – you weren’t forced to offer false good-morning greetings to people in your office.
Like you, many workers are worried about being exhausted from socializing. The best way to deal with this return-to-work concern is to build your social stamina slowly. Try to start with one person every day. Be patient and understand that your first few days might not be your best.
3. You are worried about not feeling like a part of the team because you were hired remotely.
Feeling like an outsider is hard. Combine it with a complicated transition, and it becomes a different ball game altogether. Being a new addition to the company and meeting your coworkers for the first time after the pandemic is hard, and you might feel left out.
Here’s a perspective that might help you deal with this concern. You see, returning to work in a post-pandemic world is new for everyone. This will allow you to forge new connections and be a part of the team.
4. You are worried about your mental health.
This is one of the biggest return-to-work concerns for a lot of people. Workers are worried about balancing their work, productivity, and mental health. The cutthroat, competitive, and hustle-culture-believing corporate world can take a hefty toll on your mental well-being.
The best way to deal with these is to create a flexible work routine that allows you to prioritize work and self-care. This is where employers come in. They are vital to creating safer and more supportive workplaces for all those who are returning to work.
Adjusting to the post-pandemic world is challenging, and returning to work is complicated. Most people are concerned about their work-life balance and productivity. This makes the whole process extremely stressful.
Employers across the globe need to understand these return-to-work concerns and make positive efforts to mitigate them and support their employees.
Getting back to work is even more brutal for women. Here’s a guide on how to create better workplaces for women.
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