Just as we’ve all become used to the ‘new normal’ (working remotely, video meetings, no commuting), it’s going to change – again!  Some have enjoyed working from home, others not so much as they struggled with social isolation and disconnection from their work colleagues and environment.

So, what does a successful return to work look like? In the first instance, organisations will implement some form of Recovery Plan, which outlines the process for returning to work. Recovery is unlikely to be an immediate return to business as usual but will be a staged process to assist in the implementation of whatever will be an organisation’s ‘new normal’.

Some of the benefits of this pandemic are that, supported by digital tools and communication, we have demonstrated that most business operations can be successfully undertaken anywhere (albeit with some tweaks), and that we don’t have to be tied to our work location to be effective and productive. It is also anticipated that for some, more flexible work arrangements will be a preferred option going forward. This is something that all organisations and their employees should be thinking about in terms of considering what is workable in the short, medium and long-term

For some there will be feelings of anxiety, fear and worry about returning work. Take comfort in the fact that these are normal reactions.

Some concerns around returning to work could be:

So, what can be done to help relieve some of these concerns?

Remember that it is unlikely that the working world will return to the same pre-COVID-19 business as usual way. Change will remain a constant in our lives for a while to come as the world continues to grapple with the safest way forward. One trick to maintaining a positive outlook in the meantime, will be successfully embracing the new ways of doing things, while managing the anxiety that always comes with change.

Further Resources

After COVID-19, what will ‘normal’ life be like? – Black Dog Institute

Strategies for transitioning back into the workplace after coronavirus – Beyond Blue

Managing your child’s transition back to school – Beyond Blue

Tips for managing back-to-work anxiety – Beyond Blue

Helping children transition back to school in the COVID-19 era – The Australian Psychological Society

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