Mental health and returning to the workplace 

As Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, many of us are taking our first steps back into the office. In acknowledgement of the mental health impact of the pandemic and the anxiety that may arise from resuming old work patterns, a few of our staff were keen to share their perspective on returning to the workplace.

 

 

Brian Foster

Head of Industry at Siemens Financial Services

 

While the latest news about Covid indicates that we may be returning to some sort of “normality”, it’s important that we acknowledge the challenge that this represents for many of us. For close to 18 months, we have been working from home beside our partners and loved ones, with our kids being off from school. Undoubtedly, resuming our old rhythms of life may present a few bumps along the way.

Having worked abroad and away from my loved ones for considerable periods of time, I know the importance of prioritising my wellbeing and mental health on an everyday basis. Without people around us to talk to, our mental health can be easy to ignore. But it’s important to address any issues before they sweep you off your feet and leave you feeling inundated with both your personal and work obligations. I would therefore encourage us all to give each other a little bit of space and recognise when someone is having an off day and take the time to lend a listening ear.

As you would expect from a leading international company, we have put all the tools in place to help staff in our hour of need so please make use of them! I would also encourage anyone who may be struggling with the idea of returning to work, to reach out to someone you trust and let them know how you are feeling – it will help! I am always here if anyone needs someone to talk to.

 

Jyostna Patel

Insolvency Specialist at Siemens Financial Services

 

Returning to the new normal… where to start? I’ve personally been feeling a little anxious about resuming a “normal” working routine, even though I’m looking forward to seeing my work colleagues again. Having theses mixed emotions is OK and I’m sure we’ve all felt this way at some point.

To help me with the transition, I’ve decided to set myself a new goal or intention for every day that I am back in the office. This could be one objective I want to achieve, one activity I want to organise, or one friend I want to see. I hope this will help to focus my mind and feel accomplished at the end of the working day. What will your intentions be?

If you have any concerns around returning to work, please feel free to speak to myself or one of the other MHFAs. I firmly believe it’s OK not to be OK!

 

Claire Fleetwood

Business Change & Improvement Manager at Siemens Financial Services

 

Everyone has experienced this pandemic differently, but the health and safety of our colleagues has been paramount throughout. I am fortunate that my family and I have no underlying health conditions that required us to shield, so I have been able to leave my home in accordance with the restrictions. I’m also ‘double jabbed’ and feel some comfort from this when I consider returning to the office. For me, it doesn’t feel like such a drastic change getting back into the outside world again, but it’s important to remember that for others, this may be a source of anxiety.

Once I got into the groove of home working, I found that I was actually more productive than in the office. With that being said, I am excited to be able to work alongside my colleagues in person again and to get to know the many new people that have joined during the last 18 months. Balancing home and office working will be interesting!

I don’t believe we’ll ever get to a position where we are completely free from Covid so it’s important that we’re able to find a way to carry on with our personal and professional lives. This will be an adjustment for everyone, so let’s aim to be respectful and patient with each other as we find a new way forward.

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Brian Foster

Jyostna Patel

Claire Fleetwood