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by Jackson B

By Alex Hattingh, CPO at Employment Hero

With Boris Johnson signalling that work-from-home guidance is set to be scrapped from June 21st  and business leaders calling for firm return to work plans to share with their employees, many people may be feeling stressed about the prospect of the commute, their safety, mental health and even career path.

Recent research has also uncovered concerning data around the pressures employees are facing as their employers push for a return to ‘normality’. With 44% of Gen Z employees admitting to being hesitant about the vaccine and nearly a quarter of Brits (24%) stating they feel forced to take a jab by their employers, the transition to back to office working won’t be easy.

Knowing this, Alex Hattingh, CPO at HR software platform Employment Hero shares her tips on how to manage stress as we slowly go back to the office, whether that’s full time, part-time or when employees are ready.

Be prepared and speak to your employer

Before transitioning back to the workplace, it is important that you understand the guidelines that have been set. Social distancing rules, desk layouts, room limits and mask conditions are all examples of potential guidelines that may be put in place. Speak with your employer and ensure that you have a solid understanding of the guidelines and what you must do to stay safe in the workplace. Remember to raise any concerns you may have with the guidelines.

Take necessary safety precautions

It is important that you do your part to keep yourself and others in your workplace safe. This also applies to social interactions that take place outside of work that may impact the workplace. We all need to work together to keep each other safe and avoid more lockdowns. Follow the restrictions, wash and sanitise your hands correctly and regularly, socially distance, wear a mask where necessary and stay at home if you are sick. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, get tested and isolate until you receive your results.

Take care of yourself

The pandemic has brought on new anxieties and stresses, remember that it is important to take care and to be kind to yourself. The last year threw challenges at us that we had never faced before. Once we understand how we feel, we can more easily take the right path to address it. If you are heading back into the workplace, ensure your body and mind is ready. Adjust your sleeping and eating patterns to what it would be like if you were in the workplace to help with ease the transition.

Focus on the silver linings

We have already overcome many COVID challenges: lockdowns, masks, time away from family, changing work situations and more. It may not always have been smooth sailing, but we made it through. There is now hope for a new normal and safely moving back into the workplace will play a vital part in this. Some of us have definitely had it tougher than others, but it’s important to stay positive (it’s a cliche because it’s true). Losing your job may have given you the chance to reflect on what is important to you and where you see your career going. Missing out on your holiday may give you some more time to save and have an even better trip when we can travel. It can be difficult to remain positive, but try to focus on the silver linings when you can.

Speak up!

If you feel like you are not coping with stress, anxiety or any other mental health issues, it is important to speak out about it. Whether it is just a conversation with a friend or colleague, or speaking with a health professional, speaking up can help you get the assistance you need to be your best self.

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