Back into the office, everyone! Well, not so fast. After two years of hybrid or remote employment, we can’t expect a workforce still adapting to the “new normal” of 2020-2022 to simply go back without adjusting our expectations and having transition measures in mind.
Anxiety and depression have affected all types of employees the last two years. Frontline workers—which includes teachers, drivers, and retail workers—have predictably experienced ongoing concerns over safety and guidelines. And many individuals who were working from home have felt isolated and burned out from “living at work.” Many workers have seen their performance suffer and job satisfaction dip, while rates of substance use, depression, and divorce have all risen.
As the remaining workforce begins to transition back into the workplace, it’s important for employers and employees alike to be mindful of the environment. For employees, the experts at Rosecrance suggest using any and all employee resources that may help (health insurance, wellness programs, employee assistance programs), as well as taking even a few minutes a day to ground themselves with whatever helps them reset and feel mentally healthy—breathing, meditation, going for a walk, listening to music, etc.
For their part, employers—including leadership and human resources—should establish open and consistent lines of communication (like regular check-ins on goals, priorities, and needs), and should always be listening and ready to meet the needs of their workforce.
And for everyone, staying connected, flexible, and empathetic will be vital.
If you know someone, including yourself, who is experiencing any mental health or substance use issues as a result of going back into the workplace or adjusting to workplace guidelines, check out series 5, episode 2 of the Rosecrance podcast “On Your Radar,” which covers ways we can all adjust to going back in person.
Download “Going Back to the Workplace,” series 5, episode 2, HERE.