Over time, most people anxious about returning to the workplace will reacclimate, says Center City psychologist Daniel Chazin, who directs the Center for Anxiety, OCD and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and serves as the Philadelphia regional representative for the National Social Anxiety Center. To help the transition, he offered these tips:
Expect an adjustment period
“Make room to accept and recognize both positive and negative aspects of the changes involved in going back into the office,” he said, “whether these involve more in-person contacts, more chitchat, or having to sacrifice some of the autonomy you’ve recently enjoyed.”
Remember, you’re not alone
“Discuss any stressors or challenges that arise with trusted coworkers, friends, and other support people,” Chazin said. “Chances are, other people will be able to relate, and they might have useful suggestions.
Be flexible in your expectations.
Handshakes, office policies, and work travel may look different from pre-pandemic times, even as other aspects stay the same or shift over time. “It’s more adaptive,” he said, “not to hold a rigid, all-or-nothing expectation for what normal should look like.”
» READ MORE: Returning to the office stirs anxiety among workers
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