Return to Work Transitions are Disrupting Workers and Business Models



With the onset of COVID-19 pushing my companies to convert to virtual workspaces, many workers have found themselves enjoying a new business model where they are given workspace flexibility within the comfort of their own home. However, as the world is shifting towards decreasing social distancing guidelines and mask mandates, many companies are initiating return to the office efforts. Many employees are reluctant to return to the office after a year and a half of zoom calls, wearing lounge wear to business meetings, and avoiding traffic during commute.


If you find yourself in this situation, I recommend the following tips:


1. Gauge your commute


It may be time to re-learn your drive to work. Using GPS apps like google maps or Waze, can help you navigate any changes in traffic patterns. It would be efficient to mentally prepare for your drive to work. Create a playlist or select your favorite podcast on a queue in order to alleviate any stressors during your drive. With this transition, it may help calm new anxieties with listening to something that is familiar or comforting to you.


2. Reach out to your co-workers or even your HR Department


It is clear that hybrid work environments often help workers perfect a work and life balance. If given the opportunity, reach out to your HR Department or supervisor to see what options you may have with this transition. Maybe suggest a schedule where you can have select days in the office and select days working from home. I would recommend keeping track of your performance and ability to continue completing tasks even while working from home. This may sway them to change policies that better reflect the needs of their employees.


3. Address your fears/anxieties


Do not be afraid to address anxiety you may feel being in a physical and social surrounding. Covid-19 has created an umbrella of unanswered concerns, uncomfortable changes, and even traumatic loss for many. This transition can be scary as we may have already adapted to this virtual world. It may be comforting knowing that you are not alone with these sentiments. With rising concerns of how unproductive this transition may be, many companies are reconsidering these initiatives. COVID-19 has altered the way business models work.


Overall, it is important to consider this transition may be uncomfortable, but it also may create a new sense of normalcy. Despite the annoyances from lengthy commutes, returning back to the office can help people physically separate their workspace from their personal space within their home. I do believe it may be beneficial from allowing employees flexibility and considering their needs and concerns during these times.