4 Signs You’re Not Ready to Return to Work (and What to do About it)

The COVID-19 lockdown has been tough on many families. At first it was a good excuse to put some serious time into spring cleaning, catch up on the books we never got around to reading and the films we never found time to watch. We felt safe and secure at home, and the idea of our homes becoming our workplaces was novel and exciting. Several months later, many of us are chomping at the bit ton get back to work. And… let’s be honest, to get some healthy distance from our significant others. And when non-essential businesses reopen in a couple of weeks’ time, many of us will be. If you feel that this will be a liberation for you, that’s great. But if you feel that you’re still not ready yet, don’t be disheartened. 

laptop at home work

Image by Anrita1705 via Pixabay

Here we’ll look at some signs that you may not yet be ready to return to your day job and what you can do about it if you strongly feel that returning to work would be detrimental to your wellbeing, your productivity or the safety of others in your household. 

You’ve just hit your stride working from home

Working from home required a pretty steep learning curve. While there’s certainly data to suggest that remote workers can be more productive than their office bound counterparts, that data was gathered long before the outbreak of COVID-19. And the studies probably didn’t factor in the logistics of managing under-stimulated kids on top of the usual day-to-day operations.  

Still, you worked hard, you persevered and you found the balance between being a parent and doing your job while under lockdown. And now that you’ve hit your stride you may be reluctant to have to re-learn the practicalities of office life. Especially if…

You can’t get access to childcare

The lockdown has likely thrown a wrench in your existing arrangements when it comes to looking after your pre-school age little ones. It may take time to find a Day Nursery near you that you can trust. The last thing you need is to spend your days worrying about leaving your child in the care of anyone you trust less than 100%.

You’re sharing your home with an elderly relative

If you share your home with an eldely parent or grandparent, you may have serious misgivings about the idea of exposing yourself to even the slightest degree of risk. Which brings us to our next point. 

You don’t feel safe

While your employer will no doubt take every care to mitigate any risks to your health in the workplace, you may simply not feel safe or comfortable with the idea of returning to your workplace. This will inevitably interfere with your ability to do your job to the highest standards of which you’re capable.

Talk to your employer now!

Don’t wait to discuss these misgivings with your employer or manager. Make the time to talk to them. Share your worries and make a case for why allowing you to remain at home may benefit them. You may be surprised how amenable they are to the idea. After all, they save money when you stay at home and stop using their water, energy and loo roll!


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