Tips for workers uncomfortable with returning to the office

More businesses are having workers return to the office, and some people might be uncomfortable with that. A D.C.-area doctor has advice for how to cope with that returning-to-work anxiety.

“This is a stressful situation to get back, post-pandemic, to work,” Dr. Sunil Budhrani said. “It’s important to make sure you’re communicating.”

Budhrani is CEO and chief medical officer of Innovation Health, a joint-venture partnership of CVS Aetna and Inova Health System. He’s also an Emergency Medicine Physician in the region.

Budhrani suggests people discuss stresses with colleagues, family, workplace leaders and supervisors, “so that you can share strategies to comfortably get back is the key, I think, to success as we transition in that direction.”

Some people believe there are myriad benefits to returning to the workplace.

A rebuilding of social connections that happen in a workplace might benefit collaboration and shared projects. There may be increased productivity from fewer distractions from family, chores or pets.

“And creating this stronger boundary between work and home can create a prosperous experience in that space,” Budhrani said.

People might not want to return to the office for any number of reasons. Perhaps they’re truly more productive at home, like the flexibility, skipping the daily commute or lower costs. And, they might be anxious about returning to the office.

Budhrani said those who are hesitant should share their thoughts with supervisors.

“Have this dialogue, express those concerns so that the appropriate arrangements, if possible, could be granted to you,” Budhrani said.

Looking at the big picture, Budhrani notes that reactions and outlook on life can be contagious. He thinks people should strive to be resilient, stay positive and realize this is a stressful time for everyone.

“Because that positive reaction bounces off of each other in a way that’s infectious. And that can really help us as a group in this together, get back to the post-pandemic world that we once saw before we were afflicted by this tough time,” Budhrani said.


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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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