Sooner or later it will happen! For most of us there will come a time when we will be heading back into the workplace. This intimidates some and depresses others, while for the stoics of us, they will return as if not much has changed.

Getting Positive

Getting Positive

For those less intimidated, this is a golden opportunity to show up and step up for your less confident colleagues. Your smile, your encouragement, your 'matter of factness' in the face of uncertainty, could be the difference between positive colleagues and not. You will also feel very empowered when you help others navigate forward.

For those feeling more concerned or down about returning to the office, consider the following:

1. Mindset of adventure - Going back to the office may feel like a backward step. You've got used to working virtually. You may have enjoyed not having to commute. The reality is that your employer wants you back. It's good to be needed, well, appreciated at least. Try thinking, 'we're all kids about to embark on our first day at school.' Think of it more as an adventure, that far from being the 'same old', instead consider that we have all been impacted and changed as a result of the pandemic.

2. Change - Working from home has revealed much to us, first and foremost, whether we can work effectively from home or not. If it's been a struggle then be relieved, even excited, about the return to work. Feel a sense of gratitude for the return (or should it be advance to) 'new normal.' Conversely, if you return to a physical environment having enjoyed your non-work space from which you worked very effectively, know that your boss also knows you can work effectively from home! This means, imminent return aside, it may become easier to change the at working from home/in the workplace mix. Be optimistic about this possibility.

3. Health concerns - If you're worried from a health perspective, know that most people will be vaccinated. Know that your concerns about the physical environment aside, the powerful benefits of social interaction will actually boost your health/sense of wellbeing, not damage it.

4. You are not alone - If you feel doubt or other negative feelings, share these/your mindset with people you trust, before you return to work. You'll feel better doing this. You will see you are far from alone. Better still, your colleagues will quite possibly be able to assuage some of your more specific fears. You'll feel better!

5. Quality interactions - Throughout the pandemic, we have been able to function professionally because of video communication. But, for quality interaction, understanding and therefore performance, nothing beats face-to-face interaction. View the return to work as a new page, a fresh opportunity for truly effective communication and a greater chance both to learn from others but also to be more effective in your work.

6. Fun - Being in a work environment is not simply about work. You will once again get a chance to experience the things you haven't been able to, such as spontaneous interaction, and not simply with your four-year-old or partner! Be excited by novelty of the return.

Ultimately, the return back to work (and how you see it and for that matter experience it) will be driven in large part by your decision to embrace it as an opportunity… or not. Make the conscious choice to embrace it and you will immediately have a more positive outlook. Enjoy!

Getting Positive, available now as paperback (£5.99) and ebook (£4.99) available online and in all good bookshops:

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