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Returning to the Office? Here’s How to Mentally Prepare

Returning to the Office? Here’s How to Mentally Prepare

Many workers around the country have been away from the office for over a year. But with virus cases declining and the economy opening back up, workers are returning to the office. For some, there are cheers of excitement, and for others, this is a living nightmare. The pandemic has affected us all differently, and many Americans are dreading the return to working on-site. If this is how you feel, you are amongst the 33% of workers not ready to go back to the office. If this is your current predicament, here is how to mentally prepare to return to the office.

Take a deep breath

If your return to the office is near and you are feeling anxious, take a deep breath. Leaving your home to head back to the office can be intimidating. It’s essential to take a moment to pause, refocus, and recenter yourself. When returning to work, there may be a lot of unknowns; a lot has changed over the last year, and it’s natural to feel a little uneasy about leaving the comfort of your home. So, if you feel anxious, try to do something that relaxes you or reduces your stress, whether that’s a little meditation, a walk with your dog, or just reading your favorite book. The most important thing about returning to the office is taking care of yourself and your mental health.

Ask for expectations

Every company has been affected differently. For some, minor changes are happening, and everything will be “business as usual.” However, other companies are drastically changing with new staff members, procedures, and possibly even a new office space. In other words, there can be a lot of unknowns. Thus, it’s essential to ask for expectations if your employer has yet to share them. Ask your supervisor what you can expect. Are there new safety rules and procedures that you should be aware of? Will your employer require you to wear a mask at all times in the office? Is the office going to be cleaned regularly as a precaution? These are things that might help put your mind at ease to make this transition a little smoother. Understanding your employer’s expectations will help you mentally prepare for your return.

Talk to your colleagues and supervisor

If you still feel anxious about your return to the office, you should communicate your feelings with your colleagues and supervisor. You are not alone with your emotions, and it may help to discuss them with your co-workers and friends at work. If you are comfortable sharing your vulnerabilities, talking with your co-workers can be an excellent outlet for these emotions and hopefully help settle some of these nerves. Also, it’s critical to communicate your feelings to your supervisor. If something makes you anxious, you can hopefully work with your manager to address these issues. Letting your boss know how you feel can help your company adjust its policies and procedures better to accommodate you and your colleagues during this transition.

Schedule breaks throughout your day

When you work from home, it can be easier to step away from your computer and take a much-needed break. When working from the office, it isn’t easy to step away and take a few minutes for yourself. With co-workers, you can get wrapped into conversation with colleagues, stepping in to help a teammate, or keep chugging away at your work activities. However, you must take breaks throughout the day to feel refreshed and productive. If you are a person that likes to schedule things out in advance, block out a few minutes of your day for a brief walk around the office or to grab a cup of coffee. These short scheduled breaks can help reduce your anxiety and make it easier to prepare for your new normal working lifestyle.

This transition will impact everyone differently. As the world begins to return to normal and you prepare to return to the office, these practices will help reduce some of these emotions.

How To Normalize Employees Taking Mental Health Days

How To Normalize Employees Taking Mental Health Days

Following an extremely taxing year on the North American workforce, more workers are prioritizing mental health in their careers. They are purposely seeking out companies that offer mental health days and normalize taking that much needed time to recharge. However, companies are not rising to the challenge. In fact, according to a Deloitte survey, “95% of employees who have taken time off due to stress named another reason, such as an upset stomach or headache. Also, less than 30% of employees feel comfortable talking to their managers about their mental health, and even less (25%) to HR.” So, how can your company attract these candidates and create a more successful team overall? Try implementing these three strategies to normalize mental health days in your workplace.

Change Your Policies

The first thing you must do is implement a concrete change in policies. Don’t just assume that your allocated “sick time” will attract new candidates. Talk to your HR team about changing the PTO policy to explicitly include mental health days so that employees know this is accepted and encouraged.

Advertise Your Priorities

After you’ve made a change to your policies, shout it from the rooftops! Advertise it on your website, include it in your job descriptions, even build a social media campaign around it. Everyone from current employees to prospective candidates should understand that your team supports mental health days. You will be amazed at how this small change can attract impressive talent!

Encourage The Use Of Mental Health Days

As a result of “unlimited vacation day” policies, we learned that just because a perk is offered doesn’t necessarily mean it’s utilized. Fostering a supportive mental health culture will take ongoing work. Check-in with your team members often, and keep the mental health policy top of mind. If you notice that someone is struggling, encourage them to take a couple of days to recharge! Sometimes people need a break more than they’d like to take one.

These are just a few ways that your company can start supporting time off for mental health. This is a trend that will only continue to grow in the corporate world, and it’s essential that you don’t get left behind in order to remain competitive. Interested in learning more ways to support your team and hiring efforts? Explore our client resources!

What to Prioritize in Your Job Search

What to Prioritize in Your Job Search

Have you been searching for a new job for a few months and feel stuck in a rut? It is easy to get lost in your search after striking out over and over again. You start to over-analyze things and either become a little lazy in your search or start treating it like a full-time job. Regardless of how your search is going, there are a few things you should prioritize in your job search. Here are four tips to optimize your time and experience better results.

Quality Over Quantity

Many job seekers make the mistake of applying for virtually every job they come across. That is a massive waste of your time and can be demoralizing after gaining zero traction because you didn’t put enough effort into each application. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. Be more selective in your search and focus on jobs that match your skill sets and career goals. Spend the time you were wasting on submitting countless applications to tailor your resume for each position. Customizing your resume will help you get past those pesky resume bots and land your resume in the hands of a hiring manager.

Actively Networking

It is essential to network during and after your job search. You want to keep engaging with your professional network on LinkedIn, Facebook Groups, and other networking platforms. Join professional organizations to grow your network and potentially discover new opportunities. Ask your network for interviewing tips, introductions to hiring managers, and share your good news with them when you finally land a job. They will want to celebrate this victory with you and know your hard work paid off!

Here are a few tips if you are new to the virtual networking scene.

Self-Education

Throughout your job search, it is crucial to self-educate. There are thousands of free courses and certifications you can earn to bolster your resume and hone new skills that make you more marketable. These can be courses related to your industry or field of work; they can also be diversity and inclusion training, programs that are a high priority for employers. So whether you earn a certification, pass a free online course, or attend a DEI training seminar, be sure to share these accomplishments on your resume!

Your Mental Health

Kindling your mental health is arguably the most important thing you should prioritize in your job search. It is easy to get overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious while searching for your next career move. Add a pandemic to the mix, and your job search can really bring you down. It is essential to take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, (safely) spend time with your family, and take time away from your job search. There is a myth that you should treat your job search like a job, working on it all day, every day. It is crucial to step away from your search so you can take care of yourself.

Take breaks in between applications, set up job alerts, so you are not scouring job boards all day, and if you need more assistance, partner with a recruiter. Recruiters can aid you in your job search and take some of the stress off of your shoulders. We can introduce you to new opportunities, champion you to the hiring manager, and offer interviewing advice. If this sounds like a good fit for you, reach out to us today, and let’s find you your next job!

How to Avoid Work from Home Burnout this Year

How to Avoid Work from Home Burnout this Year

Many of you have been working from home for nearly a year. The days can start to get fuzzy, and your workday and personal life quickly begin to blend. Some of you may even be working from home permanently because of the pandemic, causing workers to balance their daily work duties and personal responsibilities simultaneously. As a result, people are on the edge of burnout. If you are in this position or nearing it, there are a few simple things you can do to take back control and mitigate these anxious feelings. Here are five things you can do to avoid work from home burnout this year.

Identify what is making you feel overwhelmed

First of all, it is essential to identify what is making you feel overwhelmed while working from home. Is it the never-ending emails? Or is it the persistent feeling to always be available? Whatever is causing your burnout, address the issue head-on, and work towards a solution. If the cause of this feeling is more significant, have a one-on-one meeting with your manager to resolve it.

Schedule “quiet hours”

Scheduling “quiet hours” is a great way to focus on essential tasks for an hour or to take an uninterrupted lunch break. If Microsft Teams notifications or emails are distracting you, snooze your notifications for a bit to complete an important deadline or task. You can also set up these quiet hours when you log off for the day to prevent you from feeling the need always to be connected to work. It only takes a few moments to set up these quiet hours, and you can even schedule them to turn on daily to help avoid work from home burnout.

Create a dedicated workspace

Creating a dedicated workspace helps working from home feel more like work. It forms a boundary between your home and personal life from your work. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a home office to work out of, but it will help create that work-from-home division if you have a dedicated workstation. Whether it’s your dining room table, a tv tray, or a card table in your living room, keep your work there and avoid venturing to other areas of your home. If you aimlessly work throughout your home, you will struggle to fight the feeling of always being at work. If you can set up a dedicated workspace, it will help you avoid feeling burnt out.

Treat your day like any other workday

When working remotely, it is crucial to treat your workday like any other day. Take a few short breaks throughout the day, take a lunch break, or take a few minutes to step away from your desk. If there is a routine you do while working on-site, try to mimic that at home. If you take a 30-minute lunch break at the office, do so at home. Step away from your computer for that time, eat some lunch, go for a walk, or whatever it is you do on your break. If you treat your WFH day like a typical workday, it will help you fight the feeling of burnout.

Take that much-needed time off

Finally, to mitigate the feeling of work from home burnout, take that much-needed time off. It may not be as tempting with a lack of places to spend your vacation time, but it is essential to step away from work. Taking time off from work will improve your mental health, help improve your work satisfaction, and help you feel rejuvenated and more productive when you return. There is nothing wrong with taking a stay-cation to enjoy a break from work!

These are just five ways you can avoid the feeling of burnout when working from home. If you are still feeling overworked or unhappy with your current career, it may be time to move on. If you are in this position, check out our job board. Your next career opportunity awaits!

Mental Health

Should Employers Offer Mental Health Days?

The topic of mental health in the workplace is gaining in popularity, especially with the younger generations. According to a recent study, 91% of Gen Z and 85% of Millennials believe employers should have a mental health work policy in place. This brings up a controversial question: should employers offer mental health days? Here’s the scoop on mental health days and how they can be key to attracting younger job seekers to your company. 

Up and coming generations were often accommodated for their mental health conditions in school settings — extra time for testing, specialized testing environments to help with concentration, etc. As a result, they are more comfortable discussing it in the workplace. About 78% of younger workers believe it’s important to openly discuss mental health in the workplace. Consequently, employers are struggling to accommodate these needs. 

So, what can your team do to support the mental well-being of your staff members? Here are a couple of suggestions: 

Encourage your staff to use their sick days 

A few years ago, Madalyn Parker went viral for sending an email to her team, telling them that she was taking a few days off work to “focus on her mental health.” Subsequently, the company’s CEO was very supportive of her. Parker’s email is an excellent example of an employer being flexible and allowing their team to use “sick” time to recharge and focus on her health. 

Don’t shy away from conversations 

If one of your employees approaches you and wants to talk about their mental health, don’t brush them aside. Hear them out and see if there is anything you can do to help. Additionally, try to consistently invite open conversations about mental well-being. The worst thing you can do is create an environment of distrust. Employees need to feel comfortable discussing their well-being with their manager or HR. This is an essential step to creating a positive employee experience.  

A few small changes are all it takes 

The bottom line is that the younger generation is taking their mental health seriously. And as a result, employers must be more supportive in the workplace. You might be surprised at how much an open mind and a few quick adjustments to your company culture can create a more positive work environment.