Now that workplaces are re-opening and some sense of ‘normality’ is returning it’s important to ensure that we, and our employers, do our best to make this transition as safe as possible.
As we look at returning to work there are some general principles we can all use I order help us get back to work and promote staying mentally healthy over the next few months.
- Talk and connect
Keeping in touch with colleagues and managers is more important than ever, a quick chat and check-in will help to keep us all feeling connected. We’ve all been dealing with different things through lockdown, be that isolation, ill-health or bereavement. It’s cliché but a problem shared can be a problem halved, and sharing our worries and concerns with others will help us all in the months ahead.
- Plan and prepare
Planning your return to work and identifying things that might make you feel unsafe so as to combat them can be helpful to ensure you feel safe. If your employers haven’t told you what to expect, ask about what they have done to create a safe work environment. Other useful things could include planning your first day back, thinking through things like getting to work, entering the building, what staff will be there (and how many staff will be present) and what aspect of your job will be changed?
- Have a return to work conversation with your line manager
Talking to your manager will give you a chance to raise any concerns that you might have about returning to work. If you don’t feel as comfortable speaking about your concerns in person you could trying writing these thoughts down as it may make things easier to communicate.
- Take things one step at a time
We all know there have been many changes to guidance throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s likely that there will continue to be many more changes, so it is important that we keep adapting. Things may take a long time to return to normal, but we can view this as a chance to adjust our way of working and maybe improve. For now we have to take each day as it comes and adjust to our new way of working.
- Monitor and review how you are getting on
Checking in with yourself throughout this process is important, ask yourself: How am I coping? Could I do more to stay mentally healthy? Is there anything I can do to ease my worries? As well as checking in with managers and colleagues, this will help you identify potential issues and help to get them resolved as quick as possible.