10 Tips To Returning To Work With Confidence And Grace

Image of a woman stretching joyfully in her office chair, with a computer, graphics tablet, and various office supplies on her desk.

The Covid-19 pandemic cases continue to decline in Australia, and many employers, businesses, and companies are slowly transitioning back to their usual business operations. As a result, employees who have been laid off, taken months of leave, or worked remotely for a long while are starting to return to their physical workplace and embrace office life again. But change is scary, especially if they’re already used to the post-pandemic life. If you’re one of the many Australians feeling anxious about the impending stress of coping with many changes, here are some helpful tips for returning to work that can help you prepare—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Why do Australians leave their jobs?

The pandemic is not the main reason people in Australia leave or lose their jobs; many deeper reasons occurred during it. According to The Age, 1 out of 5 Australian employees quit their jobs in 2021, and 24% considered changing careers. On average, those who quit indicated they left their jobs due to a lack of personal fulfilment, purpose, or meaning (30%), lack of career growth (29%), or the job affected their mental health (29%). The following are some more reasons why people quit their jobs—and maybe you chose to leave yours, too.

  • Thinking their job has changed.
  • Needing more work-life balance.
  • Feeling conflicted with workplace policies.
  • Seeking better management and leadership.
  • Wanting more independence or recognition.
  • Seeking a more financially-secured company.
  • Dealing with a problematic employer or supervisor.
  • Looking for a higher salary and greater benefits.
  • Feeling unchallenged, unappreciated, or uninspired.
  • Having problems related to health, family, or relationships.
  • Unwilling to return to the office due to location or difficulty commuting.

Are you ready to return to the office?

If you get to this part of this article, you are ready to wear your work clothes again and return to the office. You might get feelings of fear, anxiety or uncertainty—and it’s okay. You have been away for a while, and the transition talk might be a massive change for you. Don’t worry; in this article, we’ll discuss the tips you can do to make returning to the office less stressful. You’re welcome!

1. Prepare the necessary documents.

You first need to prepare the requirements or documents days or weeks before your return to the office. If you return after maternity or long sick leave, you must submit your medical certificate. If you go back to the workforce in a new company, you need to submit proof of right-to-work documents such as a birth certificate, Australian citizenship certificate, etc.

2. Connect with your colleagues.

Another excellent way to transition smoothly is to communicate with your close colleagues. Ask them about the changes that happened in the workplace during your absence so that you can stay connected with your job. If you’re new to the workplace, make an effort to connect and engage with an employee you feel you can trust and be comfortable with. Your ‘new buddy’ can help you familiarise yourself with the company policies, know the health and safety measures related to your job, possibly through health and safety courses online, meet your new team, and even join you during regular breaks.

3. Recognise your stress triggers.

Stress triggers are the little things you do at work that can elevate your stress levels. They can be extensive, such as your supervisor yelling at you—or small that you don’t even notice ’til you realise you’ve already had a lot of trouble concentrating. Knowing your stress triggers is essential; it allows you to recognise when they’re happening and take steps to prevent or manage them.

4. Seek the help of a healthcare professional.

Another great idea is to prepare your physical and mental health before reporting to the office. Schedule an appointment with your trusted physician or mental health professional several days before your return. They can help you with your current health problems and advise you on staying healthy as you return to in-person work. Additionally, consider enrolling in nutrition courses, as they can offer valuable insights into maintaining a balanced diet, which is a key component of overall health and wellness.

5. Learn a new skill.

It’s normal to feel as if your skills became rusty after being away for some time. As you return to the office and re-familiarise yourself with your old routine, consider studying an online course to recalibrate your knowledge. For instance, if you’ve been away for more than a year and are unsure if your accounting skills are still sharp and updated, you can consider studying MYOB courses or other bookkeeping systems like Xero through our specialized Xero courses. Don’t worry; most online courses are self-paced learning, so you don’t have to juggle studying and working simultaneously.

You can check out our page now for high-quality online courses that can help refresh your skills as you return to the office.

6. Do it one step at a time.

It’s normal to forget to do the tasks and duties you used to do quickly as before. Don’t rush to upskill everything; take all the time you need to reprocess and refamiliarise yourself. You can start by asking your colleagues for help, such as giving you quick training or simply sending you an updated Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) document to relearn the ropes.

7. Take all the time you need to catch up.

You’ve just had a baby, recovered from a particular sickness or surgery, or returned from a long vacation; you will need ample time to get your bearings back, and it’s perfectly fine. Whether you’re returning to your current workplace, embarking on Careers in Health and Wellness, or starting anew somewhere else, you are not expected to be at the same pace as when you left. Take your time to work on your progress until you can do your tasks in full swing.

8. Leave the office on time.

Job burnout is one of the significant factors that cause an employee to quit or pause for a long time. If you’ve been burned out due to working extended hours, you need to break this cycle as you reenter the workforce. Remind yourself always to leave work on time and save unfinished tasks for another day. Take overtime only when necessary and if your employer or company pays it. Remember that your job should not cost your mental health and your time for yourself or to be with your loved ones.

9. Don’t play the comparison game.

As you return to the office and return to your usual working routine, it’s normal to feel as if your coworkers have left you behind. Don’t let their career growth, promotion, or improvements discourage you or question your decision to leave for a while. You’ve made the right decision, which was what you needed then. You may be behind and feel like you need to start at square one, but you’ll get there soon enough. Just focus on your journey and be patient with your transition.

10. Have faith in yourself and your abilities.

You are not alone in this transition. Remember that not only do many people find themselves returning to the office after a break, but most employers are also receptive to hiring someone with less experience who has been out of the workforce for some time. So whenever you feel as if the world has left you behind, remember that people like you are also restarting their journey.

Don’t beat yourself up; keep your faith in yourself and your abilities. There are many ways to work on your progress, such as collaborating with new employees, considering taking on new tasks during your working week, exploring new hobbies, communicating with your employer about your career goals, and more.

Final Thoughts

Restarting your career can be scary, especially if you’ve been away for a while. But we hope this article gives you the tap on the back you need to go back confidently. For a smooth transition back to the office, consider enhancing your well-being with our Weight Management Course and Program in Nutrition and Personal Health. It’s designed to boost your physical and mental health, ensuring you return with confidence. This course is perfect for busy professionals looking to balance work and health effectively. Additionally, incorporating Fitness Courses into your routine can further improve your physical readiness and mental sharpness for returning to the workforce. Consider exploring our Wellbeing Courses to enhance these benefits. For a smooth transition back to the office, consider broadening your skill set with advanced legal Administration Courses. These are designed to enhance your professional capabilities, ensuring you return to work with a competitive edge. There will be bumps along the way, but always keep your head up and be patient with your transition. You will reap the sweet fruit of your labour a hundredfold in time. Good luck!

Source: The Age, Indeed.