With new workforce vaccination measures and 50% of employees allowed back in office, work-from-home no longer remains the default arrangement in 2022. Since the start of the New Year, some parents have begun working from office for a couple of days each week. For some, this may be their first time returning to office since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic 2 years ago.
As we enter yet into another phase of transition, from pandemic to endemic and from WFH to WFO, we may experience some discomfort easing into the new routine. Parents are not the only ones affected by this change; children also have to get used to not seeing their parents for extended periods in the day. Here are some tips for both parents and children to manage the transition from WFH to WFO.
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1. Allow yourself to feel different emotions
Some parents may look forward to having a conducive working environment back in the office, some may feel guilty for leaving their children at home, and some may feel a combination of both or not know what to feel at all. Permit yourself to feel different emotions, even if they may be conflicting. Share how you feel with your partner or someone you trust.
2. Give yourself time to adjust to a new routine
Working from office may involve taking time to commute to and fro, having alternative childcare arrangements, and preparing meals later in the evening. It may also mean that we no longer have the luxury to do lunch-time workouts at home, and need to find alternative ways to squeeze some exercise into our routine.
Take some time to establish a WFO routine. These habits would be helpful in providing some certainty in uncertain times and something to look forward to each workday.
Image source: iStock
3. Practise self-care
Through this period of constant transitions and changes, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Take time to engage in hobbies, exercise, and activities that you enjoy.
On days when it may be challenging to take extended periods of time for yourself, self-care can also be in the form of short breaks like having your meals away from your work laptop or taking a walk to the pantry.
4. Have conversations with your supervisors and colleagues
Things may have changed since the last time we were back in office – office spaces may have changed to allow for safe management measures, job descriptions may have changed as colleagues took on or relinquished certain roles during the pandemic. Working styles may have changed as well, some of us may have gotten used to working independently at home and having more frequent interactions with colleagues may result in some conflicts.
Speak to your supervisors and colleagues; catch up with them and understand their needs in this time. If flexibility is needed, such as leaving work earlier to pick up children from school, have that discussion to see what is feasible.
Image source: iStock
5. Communicate with your children
Let your children know how you’re feeling and how they can support you. Some of us may feel tired after a long day at work and need some time to recharge before we can play with our children. Let them know when they can expect you to be with them, such as during the weekends or after dinner on the weekdays.
As much as a routine is helpful for parents, it is helpful for children as well. Inform your children about changes in their schedule when you are working from office (e.g., spending time at a student care after school) and guide them on activities they can do independently while waiting for you to be home from work.
It is normal to experience some stress as we go through transitions. Sometimes, all we need is a space to voice our frustrations and learn some handles to manage them.
In the upcoming months of 2022, keep a look out for more articles and videos as the team from The Therapy Room shares their expertise on parenting, relationships, neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia) and other clinical disorders in children (e.g., anxiety, depression). Stay tuned!
For more information on therapy sessions and/or assessments, please contact our team of psychologists and counsellors at The Therapy Room at 6467 8903 or email [email protected]. You may also follow us on our social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
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