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Support for Employees

How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety As We Return To The Workplace

While social anxiety can rear its ugly head in any scenario, experiencing it at work can be particularly challenging, especially if your office is a highly social environment. Luckily, there are ways to work through it and keep it from impacting your work performance and social interactions. A helpful way to picture anxiety—your swirling, stressful stream of thoughts—is a rushing river. It floods over you and takes control, and you’re left scrambling to come above the surface. When you find a ritual that helps you swim—maybe deep breathing or going for a walk—Stensby says you learn to pull yourself out of the river and sit on the bank. Then you can watch the river go by, without being swept away. “This [mindfulness-based] exercise helps to restructure the way you think about your thoughts,” she says.

  • They also ought to check their mental health benefits to ensure that employees can reach professionals and other tools to deal with stress when conversations at work just aren’t enough.
  • This can cause a host of issues that lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety.
  • “Keep in mind many people are feeling the very same awkward and uncomfortable feelings you’re feeling,” Dindinger says.
  • Effective delivery of information provides a sense of order that has a calming influence as it reduces the likelihood of rumors, builds trust, and provides a sense of order that supports moving forward.

Just because many of us are going back to the office shouldn’t mean that the conversation and compassion around this topic should stop. As a manager, it’s important to remember that you may not know or appreciate the full picture of what your employees have been through or continue to go through. As a friend recently told me, “No vaccine is going to take away the grief and trauma that we’ve all experienced.” Keep that in mind when helping your employees make their way back into the office. The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed daily life around the world. The virus’s ongoing health threat, new levels of financial uncertainty and long stretches of recommended social isolation have, for many, resulted in unprecedented levels of stress and exacerbated existing mental health conditions. A Pew survey from May found that one-third of Americans reported experiencing high levels of psychological distress since the start of the pandemic. There is also a condition known as ergophobia, or workplace phobia, which creates negative feelings and leads to avoidance behaviors—such as frequently taking sick leave—when it comes to work.

What about employees who aren’t vocal?

Or when your team members are going out for lunch, you’re too nervous about joining them for a salad and chat. Unfortunately, when we give in to our social anxiety triggers, we can stagnate our careers, since we may avoid situations necessary for advancement, says entrepreneur and nutritionist Serena Poon. Whether it manifests itself as writer’s block or severe procrastination, Augustine says the best way to overcome this situation is to take a small step in the right direction. You can do this by channeling your nervous energy for good. This includes acknowledging your feelings rather than suppressing them and then finding the silver lining. “Remember, when you’re feeling anxious about something, it’s because you actually care about that project, meeting, or presentation,” she says.

How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety As We Return To The Workplace

Identifying specific situations that increase your stress levels can help you figure out the best strategy to handle them going forward. But with a few small steps, you can successfully overcome or manage your work stress. For example, says Christianson, maybe you’ve had negative experiences in the past with making phone calls, or your boss reminds you of your dad. Maybe your college professor’s harsh criticism sharpened your sensitivity to any kind of feedback on writing-related tasks. On your days off, you feel pretty good and your anxiety lowers. Sometimes a change of scenery really is the best solution. Life is too short to stay at a job or profession that truly makes you unhappy.

Zo maakt CEO Nils Clement ruimte voor groei – in koffie cups en business

Find out how people are feeling — anonymously, if necessary. They all agree that there are, of course, upsides and downsides for everyone. So I reached out to several experts who study the role of middle managers and compassion at work to ask what they’d advise. “For those who were less happy with the job, its commute or the formality of uniform appearance, work became a new, more flexible and integrated part of life,” Gerald said. “For many in this cohort, the prospect of going back to the office involves a significant element of loss.”

  • Then use the insights you glean to address people’s concerns.
  • When you are asked to give a presentation at work, your anxiety may worsen.
  • If you only have a vague notion that something is wrong but haven’t seen a doctor, now may be the time.
  • If you find yourself losing concentration or focus and becoming wrapped up in worry, practice mindfulness.
  • Just because many of us are going back to the office shouldn’t mean that the conversation and compassion around this topic should stop.

Before they’re completely trapped in a morass of fear, demonstrate empathy, offer support, make changes and be transparent. Everyone has their own behaviors and react to stress and fear differently. That’s How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety As We Return To The Workplace why, as a leader you should make every effort to build communication with your team, even those that are seclusive. These workplace adversaries can leave your employees resentful, intimidated or insecure.

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If this is your concern, then rest assured that the law is on your side here. It is illegal to be discriminated against or have any adverse action taken against you on the basis of your mental health. The licensed mental health providers listed in this directory specialize in anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and related disorders.

How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety As We Return To The Workplace

In fact, in these situations, our anxiety can provide us with a bit of a competitive advantage. But when it becomes maladaptive it can start to make work feel impossible.

Tips for Facing Your Return to Work Anxiety

There are various environmental factors that may contribute to increased symptoms of anxiety, such as a stressful workplace. VERY clearly communicate your expectations that whereas differences of opinion exist, your organization expects people to communicate in a professional manner that respects others, focuses upon teamwork, and offers flexible grace. The workplace is not the forum for political or ideological soap boxes. The number of people reporting the pandemic was negatively impacting their mental health rose from 37 percent in 2020 to 43 percent in 2021. Social anxiety usually isn’t a small, lingering feeling in the back of your mind; it’s all-present.

8 Easy Ways to Reduce Back-to-Office Stress and Anxiety – Healthline

8 Easy Ways to Reduce Back-to-Office Stress and Anxiety.

Posted: Wed, 25 May 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

That’s why it’s important to take steps to manage your work anxiety. If you’re an employer or manager, here are some ways that you can support employees with anxiety. If you’re an employee, you may be able to request these as reasonable accommodations. Anxiety makes it difficult to focus, organize our time, and meet deadlines. When we don’t feel comfortable asking for help at work, it makes it harder to get support or ask clarifying questions on projects. A sudden change in an employee’s performance or participation is often a warning sign of underlying anxiety. A little bit of nerves before a big presentation is normal, and it’s common to worry about things like doing a good job at work or hitting a deadline.

Separation anxiety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides resources to assist employers and workers identify COVID-19 exposure risks and help them take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection. See the OSHACoronavirus Disease (COVID-19) topic pageexternal iconfor the most current requirements, guidance, and tools.

  • Regardless of whether you’re able to pinpoint a specific cause of anxiety at work or you have GAD, Calmer You has identified a number of techniques that will help you feel more in control and reduce your anxiety levels.
  • If you work from home, set a regular time to end your work for the day, if possible.
  • It’ll be far easier to navigate all of this and help those who are worried if you know how people on your team feel.
  • Seeing that fail, if you’re prone to catastrophizing — which anxious people often are — the next thing you’ll worry about is that you’ll get fired.
  • CNBC spoke with therapists about how people can deal with the change.
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