Health and well-being tips for returning to work

Posted on the 24th June 2020

There is no denying that the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown measures have had a huge impact on our mental health and wellbeing. It is no surprise that employers, employees and volunteers may be feeling anxious about returning to the workplace.

Here are a few things to think about or consider if you are returning to work.

Stay connected with friends and colleagues

Your workplace might have a regular catch-up set-up such as a video conference, an email round-up or group text. Try to keep up-to-date with these as it will make coming back to work less daunting, especially if you have been on furlough for some time.

Complete the staff survey

If you receive a staff survey, send it back to your employer as this will be an opportunity to make your employer aware of any health and mental health issues you might need to make them aware of in light of COVID-19.

Think about your new daily routine

If special measures have been put in place, ask your employer to send clear guidelines and some photos if you think that could be helpful. You might also want to think about how you are going to get to work: will you be driving? Will there be parking spaces? Will you be taking public transport? The more you can plan, the more natural it will feel. Also, ask your employer about staff inductions.

Breathing exercises

Breathing through feelings of stress or anxiety can help manage those feelings. You can find some simple breathing exercise for managing stress on the NHS website.

Help others where you can

If you hear of any colleagues that might be worried about returning to work, it can help both of you to reach out and talk. Helping others creates positive feelings and a sense of reward, gives you a feeling of purpose and self-worth and helps you connect with other people.

Reuse Network members can find useful resources such as a staff survey and staff induction templates in our COVID-19 Resource section of the members’ area.

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