Returning to the office? Five ways to boost your confidence

Feeling nervous about returning to the office after months of working from home? Here are five tips to help you boost your confidence.

As “work from home” guidance is changing to “return to the office,” Brand Rated explain how this change can cause anxiety with workers across the country and offer tips and advice on how to reduce anxiety and boost confidence. 

With lockdown restrictions easing, and work from home guidance no longer being recommended by the government, many UK workers are having to pack up their makeshift work desks and return to the office.

Trethowans
Trethowans

While this could be good news for the 62% of employees who say they have missed their colleagues while working from home, this can be equally as anxiety-inducing, as 65% of employees are anxious about returning to the office environment.

So, what can you do if you find yourself dreading the return to full time office working? Here are five tips to help boost your confidence.

1) Prepare

The most important step you can take prior to returning to the office is to prepare. Take some time the evening before to plan your next day, whether that’s simply looking up the train times, making your lunch or even choosing your outfit. By planning ahead, you are reducing the chance of stress and anxiety the next morning. 

The last 16 months have made planning in advance almost impossible. With ever-changing rules limiting what we can and cannot legally do, many have decided to avoid disappointment and simply wait out the pandemic.

However, this can have a negative impact on our mental health, as studies have shown links between an unclear future with depression. By taking time to plan for your return to the office, you will notice less anxiety. (You can also read tips to help reduce your anxiety here.)

2) Research

Prior to your return to the office, speak to your managers and ask what safety measures have been put in place. Have numerous sanitising stations been placed around the office? Is hot desking now a thing of the past? By asking your managers, you will gain all the information you need to make your decision.

If you feel comfortable and secure in the provisions which have been put in place, then great, however if you feel more could be done then do not feel afraid to share your ideas. Speak with colleagues and see how they are feeling too. 

3) Understand your feelings

Take a moment to understand where your concern about returning to the office comes from. It could be anything from concern about workplace hygiene to simply not wanting to have to set your alarm earlier than you have been used to. Understanding why you feel anxious about returning to the office can result in you being able to solve the problem. 

For example, if you are concerned about having to travel into work again, after over a year of a 30 second commute, then make sure you plan your route. Check the public transport timetable, opt to walk, or cycle part of the way, or see if you could even car share with a local colleague.  

4) Be kind to yourself

When feeling anxious it is easy to either over-compensate or simply shut down and not complete any of the tasks you needed to do, however it’s important to remember to be kind to yourself. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, perhaps with a seemingly bigger workload than before, or if you are simply exhausted with having to make more conversation with colleagues, then give yourself a break.

Taking a 15-minute coffee break or going for a walk on your lunch break and not sitting at your desk, can help boost your production and mood levels. 

If you can’t take a considerable amount of time away from your desk, then learning positive coping tactics can be equally as useful. When you feel anxious or stressed, your breath quickens, which makes your heart beat faster and can cause you to feel even more anxious than before. Breathing techniques can help you clear your mind and relax your body, which will mean you can complete your work better. 

5) Communicate

Having a friend at work, or even just a workspace where open communication can occur, is helpful is increasing your confidence levels and avoiding any work-based dread. Having solid friendships can help improve our mood and self-confidence which will inevitably result in being more productive and happier at work.

Speak to your colleagues about any feelings of anxiousness and get their opinions, they will be able to talk you through your feelings and potentially able to find a solution. The saying “a problem shared is a problem halved” is true for many reasons.

Photo by boram kim