Is the physical return to the office making you anxious? In such uncertain times, it is understandable to feel this way. From care-taking responsibilities to health concerns, it is easy to feel conflicted about the return.
Leadership can help manage the return-to-work anxiety through thoughtful preparation, according to a Harvard Business Review article.
Find how people are feeling- anonymously, if possible. It’s easier to navigate this unchartered territory if you know how people feel. Use these insights to address concerns. For example, if people mention health considerations, make sure they know precisely what precautions are being taken.
Allow for ambivalence about returning. It’s okay that people have mixed feelings. It’s also tempting to dismiss negative emotions or encourage people “to look on the bright side.” Managers can lead the ambivalence and create a culture where it’s okay to have mixed feelings.
Offer flexibility, if possible. “There have been many sources of pain, not just the pandemic but also the struggle around racial justice and politics,” said Jane Dutton, a professor at the University of Michigan and coauthor of Awakening Compassion at Work. “We can’t assume we know how traumatizing it’s been for people.” Flexibility increases productivity and retains people.
Read the full article here for more insight on successful return-to-work strategies.
Need help with topics like this one? EOD has resources to support you and your department, ranging from open enrollment courses, department facilitations, one-on-one consulting and retreat activities as well as interactive, web-based training courses. Visit the EOD Website for our services and course offerings.