Managing Return to the Office Anxiety: Get Your House in Order First

Since March 2020, most of us have used our homes in ways we never expected. They have become a safe-haven, offering us protection and comfort from the fears of the world around us and the global pandemic. They have also become our place of work, which means that our old routines have been replaced with easier routines but from the 19th July, that is about to change as workers will be encouraged to return to the office.

While this might please some, around 65% of British workers feel anxious about returning to the office. What this means is that now is the time to think about preparing for your return as this will help you to manage these anxieties and make the transition back to the office as seamless and stress-free as possible. 

crowded station full of people commuting to work
Photo by Belinda Fewings - unsplash 

Create Clear Coping Strategies

It’s important to understand that the anxieties you experience are normal. However, situations that we were once accustomed to are now causing anxiety. This can include returning to overcrowded offices where hygiene might be a concern, commuting and mixing with other people, getting back to being surrounded by other people while also losing the flexibility you had while working at home.

These are just some of the anxieties you might experience but you should take comfort from the fact that employers have been creating plans in readiness for your return to the office. These plans will consider the likes of physical, mental and social wellbeing, so you can expect to be able to communicate openly and honestly with employees. However, your own coping strategies can really help you to manage your return to the office.

  1. Be Realistic - Understand that slotting straight back into the office is not something that will happen quickly. So, you might take time to readjust and that could mean a drop in productivity.
  1. Consider the Positives - There are many positives to being in the office and this can include the likes of being surrounded by others, having conversations daily and even arranging office events.
  1. Place a Focus on Understanding - It’s important to recognise that everyone is going through the same thing. Therefore, understand the situation of others and attempt to make simple exchanges with people that help to create a feeling of comfort.

These coping strategies can all have a positive impact on managing your return to the office. However, one of the most important things you can do is to ensure you are prepared at home. After all, the last 16 months have been spent at home which means almost every routine would have been disrupted. What this means is that preparation is key when it comes to considering what needs to be put in place when you return to the office.

The Importance of Preparation

Your childcare plans might have changed as you’ve been available to take the children to school and pick them up but now you might need to think about how you will manage this. Think about your work clothing and get your wardrobe updated where required while you will also need to think about food shopping and event parcel deliveries because your neighbours might not feel comfortable taking in parcels during the pandemic.

It’s important to set aside time for daily chores such as cleaning the home and ironing as well as preparing food while you might want to think about your commute in detail. Can you reduce the amount of contact you have with others? Is there another route you can take or can you work around the peak periods?

Finally, you’re going to need to review home security. As you’ve been at home for the past 16 months, home security might not have been a priority like it was prior to the pandemic. However, with more people returning to the office and more homes left empty, it’s likely that burglaries will increase. This makes it especially important to put things in order now. This leaving home checklist can help to refresh your memory and even create a whole new routine for when you head off to the office

          1. Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes
          2. Double-lock any door
          1. Make sure that any valuables are out of sight
          1. Keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap and hide all keys including car keys, as a thief could hook keys or valuables through even a small opening
          1. Never leave car documents or ID in obvious places such as kitchens or hallways
          1. If you’re out all day, then it’s advisable to use a timer device to automatically turn lights and a radio on at nightfall
          1. Set your burglar alarm
          1. Make sure the side gate is locked
          1. Lock your shed or garage
          1. Lock your bike inside a secure shed or garage, to a robust fitting bolted to the ground or wall, like a ground anchor

            One of the best deterrents currently out there is to make sure that our doors are locked correctly. However, many people are too busy to get keys to lock their doors properly so they are leaving their homes vulnerable to burglary.

            If you are someone who doesn’t have the time to double-lock your door then you might want to think about installing a FinBolt. This revolutionary lock will automatically lock once the door is closed and we have a number of products available as part of the range. This includes the FinBolt that can be installed with your existing locks or you can opt for a matching FinBolt Dual Door Set which can be installed with a new front door. If you live in an area where burglary figures are high, then our FinBolt Triple Door Set is guaranteed to offer enhanced security and peace of mind. Upgrade to FinBolt automatic deadbolt to protect your home as you get back to work.