How to Go Back to Work After Circuit Breaker

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Uncertainty can be overwhelming, but you can’t let it frustrate you. If we accept big changes without really dealing with them, things can fall apart. Change elicits an ingrained stress response from us. It’s not something you can fight, but it is something you can work with. We can all agree that coronavirus is a massive change to our way of life. With the relaxation of Circuit Breaker measures, here are 5 ways to help you deal with changes going back to the office.

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|It’s impossible to know what the future holds. The very nature of change is such that you can’t predict or control what happens. Having said that, the best thing you can do is stop trying to guess what will happen. Instead, you should place as many small bets as you can on a variety of different outcomes such as flexible work scheduling or change of office rules. While you’ll miss on some of them, the idea is that the change you do account for will ultimately benefit you more. By preparing for multiple outcomes in a scenario, you’re ensuring that you don’t get caught in a situation where you’re unprepared or unable to move.

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As previously mentioned, you’re human and can’t be perfect. Once you realize this, you’re free to confront the fact that you have limitations. Recognizing your limits isn’t a sign of weakness. Instead, it’s a sign of self-awareness. When you know what you can and can’t do, you’re able to hand off specific responsibilities and processes to other people. They are better prepared to handle a particular element of change. It can be humbling to do this, but it’s usually what’s best for the company.

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You should identify what means the most to you. People don’t spend long enough getting to know themselves and what’s important to them, and you’ll do better at dealing with change if you work it out. If you know that being in an environment with a lot of new people is hard for you, there are ways of addressing that. Typically, there is a component of change that is upsetting to you. And once you identify that, and break down the changes, then you’ll be in a much better situation.

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Acknowledge that a lot of change is going to have a negative impact, so consciously make time for — I’d call it self love. Take time to actually appreciate your self. Knowing that you might be returning to the office soon, you might find you have periods where you feel down. But instead of burying it and pushing it down, spend time doing things you enjoy. Think to yourself “I know this is going to be an upsetting thing that’s going to hit me in a couple of days, but I’m going to make sure I arrange to go see a movie tomorrow night and I’m going to go to this event to meet some new people.” That way, you’re not dwelling on the bad feelings, but you’re giving yourself time to adjust by doing positive things.

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Some employees may be asked to work remotely full time after this pandemic. While working from home is both convenient and comfortable, it can be difficult for professionals to separate home and work life. With remote working becoming a new norm, balancing accessibility with the pressure to be ‘always on’ will be a challenge. Despite the best advice, this is a learned skill, with no ‘one size fits all’ solution — people need to figure out what works best for them given their career pressures, social and family needs, aspirations, etc. Organizations will need to provide tools and training to manage these pressures — but a learning curve will still be required at an individual level.

Change is scarier when your standstill. There’s something about moving towards it that gives you some semblance of control. As you deal with changes, remember to take action and do your best to set yourself up for success.

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