In our weekly podcast, The Leadership Café, that I co-host with my good friend and colleague, Michael Couch, we ask our guests the question, “assuming you’ve had no great tragedy from the Pandemic, instead of thinking, what has the Pandemic done to you, how would you respond to the question, what has the Pandemic done for you?”
As we begin our back to work plans, many of my business clients are working to find the balance between their business’ expectations of returning to the workplace and their own desire to ensure the work-life balance they feel they’ve achieved while working from home. In my discussions, clients are pointing out that they had a better sense of how to manage their own self-care.
Here are some ideas to consider as you focus on how to maintain your self-care during another episode of change:
- Take some time to reflect on what self-care means to you. Is it truly about working from home or is it about being able to take a break for a mid-morning walk or being able to restrict the number of meetings you have so you can get more work done?
- Reach out to your colleagues and boss and schedule some 1-1 time with each other. Many people report a concern about their ability to engage with others in their office setting, as if their social skills may have rusted up a bit. Easing the transition with some in-person catch up time may help ease the transition and remind us of how much pleasure we get from our interactions with colleagues.
- Speak up when you have some of those early planning meetings with your team and manager. Armed with your insights about what you need for self-care, share some courage and bring them up. There will be no better time than now to negotiate for the workplace you want going forward.
- If you are a manager, put yourself in full listening mode and don’t feel that you must make a commitment one way or the other. This is a good time to gather data that you can share with decision makers.