Returning to Work Brings More Challenges2 minute read
The Mindset Shift
“I gotta start wearing real clothes to work?!”
This is just one of the many challenges “returning to work” brings.
On the serious side, many leaders, colleagues and friends are expressing a good bit of anxiety about this, saying things like:
- “I’ve been sooooo much more productive working from home. Why are they having us go back into the office full time?”
- ” My team and I have been working better than ever, even though we’ve been remote. I’m afraid some of them will quit if the company decides we have to return to the office.”
- “We just got into a decent routine at home with the kids. I have no idea what we’re going to do if my husband has to go back into the office full time.”
- “I’m not vaccinated yet and I’m still helping care for my father-in-law who’s high risk. I’m not going into the office any time soon, no matter what they decide!”
I continue to encourage individuals to:
- Advocate for yourself. Be prepared to communicate the challenges and benefits of different decisions for you, your family, your team and the business.
- Request Support. It’s understandable if you get overwhelmed & focus only on your frustration or fear. This is where we add to our own stress though. Whether it’s with your manager or your significant other, take some time to get clear on what is (or may be) most difficult, what you really want and then request the support you’re really counting on.
- Offer Support. While it’s our responsibility to request the support we want from others, it’s also super helpful and thoughtful to check in with those around you and offer support. When’s the last time you asked your manager, “What pressures are you getting? How are you doing in all of this?” Or, asking your wife, “What other support would be helpful right now?”
If you’re leading a team, you’re in a position to also advocate for your team members.
It continues to be as important as ever to remember that we’re in this together. Be sure you’re reaching out, initiating conversations and talking through some of these challenges so that you’re prepared to create what you want.
In the meanwhile, continue enjoying your fuzzy slippers, yoga pants, or rabbit suit.