You know what it’s like coming back to work after taking a long break; all the adjustments that come with that? You have so much to catch up on, you need some time to adjust to new expectations and a new schedule, you need to get used to being around people again, you need to calibrate your energy, volume, eye contact, etc. Here are some useful ideas I have heard from what made a true difference to those who needed support in their readjustments to the office environment.
- Have a wide perspective – remember everyone is dealing with the transition in their own way. Some people may be struggling with anxiety or depression, and others may be dealing with family stressors, pet worries, financial constraints, self image or shifting productivity levels.
- Be patient and open – things may not be running as smoothly as they were before the pandemic. For healthy changes to be made let’s not think things have to go back to what they once were but rather take the time and conversations to create meaningful shifts.
- Be understanding, kind and supportive – everyone is dealing with different things right now. Stress creates short-tempers and irritability, give everyone the benefit of knowing they are doing the best they can.
- Offer help or acknowledgement – if you see someone struggling, know your acknowledging their changes, and offering support be it with an ear, a hand, or a foothold can make a big difference.
- Lean in and listen – sometimes all it takes is a simple question like “how are you doing?” and taking time to listen is the difference between a rough day and a rewarding day.
- Share your story – connection through your own experience of the unknown and sharing strategies for action and hope are invaluable sources of inspiration and security for someone already feeling alone.