Transitioning back to work after lockdown

Over the next few months, many of you will start to return to work and with this comes a lot to think about. Lockdown has affected us all in many different ways, and it is completely normal to feel a little uncertain about what the future holds.

Many people feel apprehensive, worried and confused about going back to the workplace. Organisations will be considering a range of adjustments to the way work is carried out, to comply with government recommendations. These adjustments will completely depend on your job, and your individual circumstances.

Everyone’s situation is unique. However, as you approach your return to work, there are some general principles that give you the best chance of staying mentally healthy over the coming months. We’ve pulled some together for you below:

 

Talk and connect

It is important to keep in touch with colleagues and your line manager. You don’t necessarily need to talk about work, but a quick catch up/check-in will help you feel connected. Individually we have all been impacted by COVID-19 in different ways. You may have felt overwhelmed or isolated, been unwell or bereaved. If you share these experiences with colleagues, they will be better able to help you in the months ahead.

 

Plan and prepare

Now is a good time to have a think about your current job situation and your role. Does anything need to change to help you do your job better? If you haven’t heard from your employer about transition plans, ask what provisions they have made to create a safe work environment. It can be helpful to think through what will happen on the first day back:

  • How will you get to work?
  • Will anything be different as you enter the building?
  • Who will be there?
  • Will you need to do things differently to get your job done?

 

Have a return-to-work conversation with your line manager

This is a chance to raise any concerns or questions that you may have and identify your work priorities. Things don’t always come out right first time, so if you have something important you want to talk about, make notes of what you want to say before the call or try practicing the conversation with a colleague, friend or family member. This will give you the best chance of getting your thoughts across.

 

Take things one step at a time

It’s quite likely that the way we all work is going to keep changing in the coming weeks so it’s important to understand that we will need to keep adjusting. Try to be open-minded and don’t expect everything to return to normal quickly. It’s also likely that we may not be able to go back to our old ways of working for some time – and if we are lucky, this could give us an opportunity to do things differently, and better. Now more than ever, look out for yourself, look out for others and take each day and week as it comes.

 

Monitor how things are and you are getting on

It’s important that you give yourself regular check-ins. How are you coping? Could you be doing more to keep your mental state healthy? Also, have regular check-ins with your manager – how are we working? Is there anything we could do differently to work better together? By doing this you can address issues as they come up and start to plan and prepare for the journey through COVID-19 together.

 

Finally

Remember, everyone is finding their own path and things might not always go to plan. It’s super important to be kind to yourself and others as we all find our way.

 

If you have any questions or worries at all, feel free to get in contact with one of our lovely consultants who would be happy to help.