Navigating a Safe Return to Work

Many U.S. adults are hesitant about returning to the workplace during the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak. These feelings arise from different places, with the three main pain points being:

  1. Fear of contracting Covid-19 at work or during a commute
  2. Preference to work from home, or
  3. Not being vaccinated for Covid-19

Massachusetts and Rhode Island restrictions are easing, and the State of Emergency order in Massachusetts is set to end on June 15th. While it can be an anxious time for some, many employers will be or have already begun asking workers to return to in-person work.

There are several ways that you can stay safe and reduce your risk during this transitional period.

Determine What You’re Concerned About

Do you know what your hesitancy to return to work arises from? It may be one of the 3 major reasons listed above, or it may be something else. Whatever the reason is, know that many people feel similarly about returning to work during this time.

If you aren’t sure why you feel hesitant, try envisioning returning to your work in person. Think about your commute, your work setting, your coworkers and clients, and any other factors, such as childcare. Is there anything that stands out to you as something that is a major challenge to your return to work?

Once you have an idea about what’s holding you back from returning to work confidently, you can move on to addressing your concerns and finding solutions to these challenges.

Addressing Concerns and Finding Solutions

One way you might address your concerns would be to reach out to your Primary Care Physician, your work supervisor, or a contact in the HR department to express your feelings about returning to work and learn about the proper health measures in place. In addition, you may find it helpful to ask about what steps are being taken at work so that you know what the environment will be like, and if a return to work is mandatory. Depending on your workplace or field, there may be more options that you aren’t aware of.

One of the most effective solutions for protecting yourself and others is to make sure you get vaccinated against Covid-19. Most vaccination sites are actively booking appointments, and some accept walk-ins, making your ability to get vaccinated much easier. The CDC has helpful guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals.

Another solution for protecting yourself and others is to continue wearing a mask if you’re in a setting where it feels helpful. Just because mask mandates are ending doesn’t mean that you are forced to take yours off.

Adapting and Moving Forward

Once you’ve figured out what your barriers are for returning to work, and you’ve addressed them by thinking of some solutions, it’s time to implement them and return to work. Most places are starting to return to a more normal way of life and will continue to do so – ultimately, we all need to find a way to adapt to new things, and the Covid-19 pandemic is no exception.

Know that others are feeling similarly to you and that you’re not alone. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself during this transitional period and do what you need to do to ensure that you can have a confident and safe return to work when it’s time.

Arbor Associates is committed to a safe return to work for all employees. Visit our website and reach out today to get started and learn how you can get back to work!