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5 Tips for Dealing With Back to the Office Blues

Posted on October 2020

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Returning to the office after a long absence can be more than just a bump in the road. For some, frequently resulting in a case of back to the office blues.  Having overcome the anxieties and tensions of working from home, it is not unreasonable to expect that the transition back into the office environment might be somewhat intense.

Sharing space, adjusting to the commute and resuming a rigid routine may have you feeling exhausted and confined. As a result, concerns regarding health and career may exacerbate those feelings.

 However, getting back to the office is essential for the business to return to normal. Although it may be difficult initially, you can do several things to lighten your emotional load and eliminate those back to the office blues.

1.Expand your network and make connections

Adjusting from relative autonomy to the structured environment of the workplace can be disconcerting.

However, viewing your new circumstances as an opportunity, as it can establish productive relationships with co-workers and, as well as expand your network, will go a long way toward relieving your anxieties and concerns. In short, embrace the positive aspects of the situation.

Sharing your experiences from the pandemic in frank, open, and honest discussions is bound to resonate with your co-workers. This openness will not only make you feel more comfortable, but it will also generate positive energy and free-flowing dialogue throughout the team.

 After all, months-on-end of restricted social interaction will make most people grateful for the opportunity to interact with their colleagues. Forcing a bit of enthusiasm may allow you to overcome those back to the office blues.

2.Take regular breaks

Taking regular breaks can help you overcome the immense pressure you feel to perform in the office environment.

We should not view breaks as work avoidance, but rather, as an opportunity to recharge, and improve one’s performance. Regular breaks stagger the workload, increase productivity, enhance creativity, and spur motivation, which reduces the likelihood of burnout.

Choose from any number of methods to structure your breaks—from a casual coffee clutch with colleagues to practice the 20-20-20 rule. Use your break-time to give you an energy boost. Think of your break as a reward for maintaining your focus, and make breaks an integral part of your daily routine.

3. Make plans

Of course, the pandemic has given rise to uncertainty on many levels, but planning for the future is important. It helps put the present in perspective. Planning your next staycation, designing your next home improvement project, or making plans for the upcoming weekend can each be key to combatting the back to the office blues.

Planning also applies to workdays. This is because a well-organized schedule that comprehends your daily objectives is a significant morale booster.

 Beginning your day with a simple, but necessary task. Something you can complete quickly will give you a feeling of accomplishment. Most importantly, it sets a positive tone for the entire day.

4. Work on your sleep

Never underestimate the value of a good night’s rest. A poor night’s rest lowers concentration, disrupts eating habits, alters mood, and impairs judgement. While the cure for back to the office blues may not be as simple as acquiring a good night’s sleep, it wouldn’t hurt to take stock of your sleeping habits as a possible contributing factor.

If your sleeping patterns aren’t optimal, they can be improved through exercise, healthy diet, and improving your sleep environment.

 While the effect of the lockdown on our bodies will not be known for some time, it is reasonable to suggest that a return to physical normalcy will, in no small part, depend upon a good night’s sleep.

5. Negotiate more flexibility

If none of these suggestions is working for you, consider taking the bold step of negotiating with management for greater flexibility in the workplace. While this may be a daunting undertaking, you could be pleasantly surprised at how open to the idea management is.

Make a case for a flexible approach by outlining how it will improve performance and enhance job satisfaction. Be prepared to negotiate face-to-face and stress the fact that it is an important issue.

Considering that one-third of your life is spent in the workplace, it follows that you are a major stakeholder. Management holds an equal stake and would benefit from improved performance and employees that are happy in their work. If these issues are not met head-on the result could be burnout, which benefits neither the employee nor the employer.

Are you a victim of burnout? Read our guide, The Signs of Burnout at Work and What to Do About It.

 If this guide doesn’t resolve the issue, it may be time for a career change – speak to us.

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