Adjusting to and accepting workplace changes, when met with uncertainty surrounding the future of work, can be challenging. This leads to questions about how exactly we can go about navigating this transition to hybrid work? In the second part of this article, we well look at a few more ways to do just that!
Balance emotions with facts: while you can’t prove for certain that negative events won’t happen, you can estimate the likelihood that they will. For example, if you’re feeling worried about contracting COVID at the office, try to think realistically about the probability of that happening. What are the infection rates in offices? What sorts of precautions will be in place? Consulting the data can be a helpful mechanism for soothing negative thoughts and emotions.
Focus on what you can control: rather than focus too much on worry, try to focus on planning. Plan out your days in the office and your new routines, as well as how you will stay resilient and well during this time of transition. Directing your attention toward what is known and controllable can help manage uncertainty (and minimize anxiety) about the future of work.
Practice gradual exposure: one of the most reliable ways to confront fear, uncertainty, and anxiety is through gradual exposure to it. Take one small step (it should be uncomfortable, but not overwhelming) by planning to go to the office once before the implementation of any formal hybrid or return to office policy. See if you can arrange to go with a coworker you enjoy spending time with to be there at the same time as you. Much like getting used to cold water in a swimming pool, this technique can work well to help you adjust to your new normal.
By April Dyrda, M.Sc., Registered Provisional Psychologist