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How to Ease Return-to-Office Anxiety

Published Fri Nov 05 2021

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If you find yourself nervous that your manager might require you to return to the office before you’re ready or that your company might enact policies you’re not comfortable with, you’re not alone. The looming “return to work” specter has many workers feeling uneasy. To assuage this anxiety, though, it's important to look inward. One particularly powerful exercise is to think about the situation you’re in professionally and put a name to the emotions you feel. Are you nervous? Disappointed? Fearful? Angry? These are all valid emotions, but it’s difficult to unpack them without pinpointing them first. Once you understand exactly what you’re feeling, you can frame the anxiety. Consider writing down what you can control, what you can influence, and what is outside of your control. For example, you can control what you agree to and what you refuse. You can likely influence your team’s overall return to work strategy but will not have the final say. And ultimately, there will be decisions made regarding what the decision will be that you most likely will not be in control of. However, rather than feeling anxious about it, return to your locus of control. You have the final say in what you are and are not comfortable with, and compassionate leadership will understand that.

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