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How Employers Can Reduce the Social Anxiety of Returning to Work

After a year of working from home, many people are suffering social anxiety at the thought of having to go back to the office. We asked Dr. Jennifer Wild, a psychological scientist at the University of Oxford with expertise in risk and resilience, for guidance for employers as to how to handle this as employees start to return to offices.

WILD: It’s important for employers to recognize that some people may feel anxious about returning to the office because they have worries about social interactions after being in lockdown for such a long time.

雇主可以确定这种感觉并鼓励非正式的追赶,例如创造人们可以聚在一起的空间,并在事先上开始社会混合。

It may also help to include an informal catch up in meetings, such as taking a few minutes at the outset to ask team members what’s new and good with them.

Encouraging a Catchup Before Meetings

When people feel socially anxious, they have anxiety and fears about how they will come across to others. If it’s really severe, social anxiety can end up causing people to under-perform at school and work and can affect life decisions.

When people are socially anxious, their attention shifts to their feelings and fears of how they think they’ll come across to others. They may look down or avoid eye contact, all of which makes it difficult to accurately process how people are really responding to them.

有助于用来使用感觉自我意识的意识作为提示,以便抬头。发现人们以一种善良和友好的方式回应变得更容易。这是个人可以做到帮助他们的社交焦虑的事情。

边缘:如果有人感到太急于亲自参加会议,如果他们通过放大来加入吗?

WILD: My advice is that if somebody is feeling anxious about a meeting and is feeling a pull to join by Zoom, then they actually should join in-person, because it’s only through joining in-person that they will discover that people aren’t judging them negatively and their fears don’t happen.

如果你加入变焦和你感觉很自我conscious, there’s a risk your focus will shift to monitoring how you are coming across and you won’t actually process what’s on your screen, meaning you won’t get good information about how people are really responding to you.

更常见的是,人们善良和友好,但是当我们监控自己以及我们如何进入时,我们都不会发现这一点。

试着亲自加入

边缘:因此,您的建议是尝试重新参与如果可能的话,因为这将有助于回来的过程。

狂野:是的。重要的是要真正清楚你担心的是,当你再次看到同事时会发生什么。如果你上班,你就会与同事会面,真的具体。您认为会发生什么?

Then look up and around, drop any sort of efforts to come across well and get really lost in the conversations. Afterward, ask yourself, did your fears come true? Did people reject you? Behave in such a way to suggest they were judging you negatively? Focus on what ways they were friendly and inclusive. This idea of putting our fears to the test is really one of the best ways we can overcome social anxiety.

我们将在回归工作中有波动和焦虑,并善待自己增加我们的乐观情绪并使我们更好的问题解决方案。

边缘:Are you finding that people have lost some level of social skills after a year in lockdown?

WILD: That’s really hard to answer because many of us still have a high degree of social interactions, they’ve just taken place online.

我不认为社交技能因锁定而变得更糟。我只是认为在锁定期间避免社交更容易。So if you have a propensity to social anxiety and we’re in lockdown, it’s much easier to avoid interacting with people because you can turn your camera off on Zoom and do many things that require interacting with others, such as shopping, by using the internet.

Fear of Returning to Public Speaking

边缘:You have been advising the university and other organizations on the return to work. What concerns have you been encountering?

WILD: There have been three concerns. One has been anxiety about catching COVID, which obviously will be addressed with the vaccine. The other concern that’s come up is a fear of public speaking. So having to do talks with people in the same room. And the third concern is about whether or not people will be able to maintain a work-life balance once they start commuting again.

当人们被放大做谈判,也许they’ve been able to have more notes around them to help jog their memory of the kinds of things that they want to convey in the talk. But when they return to doing public speaking, a presentation in a meeting or in a lecture theater, they won’t necessarily have those prompts stuck all over their computer or on their desk, which may increase anxiety about forgetting what they want to say.

Focus on Facts, Not Feelings

I’ve run through several tools with employers and employees that are covered in my book是非凡的that can help. The first is to “Focus on Facts, Not Feelings.” When we have a worry or we’re anxious about something, try to focus on facts rather than how anxious we’re feeling.

下一个工具被称为“那么与现在。”这真的是为了打破现在和过去之间的联系。例如,过去难以困难的社交互动记忆的人,例如,锁定的人真的很侧重于今天的办公环境中发生的事情以及如何与他们的记忆不同。188bet滚球投注这种做法可以帮助摆脱过去的现在。

The next tool is called the “Three Minute Carrot,” which helps us to overcome avoidance. It’s about people starting a task that they have been avoiding and giving themselves permission to try the task or activity for three minutes and then reevaluating whether or not to carry on or stop. Three minutes of doing a task is usually enough to get started. And once you’ve started, this gives a breath of success — and release of dopamine, the feel-good factor — which can motivate you to keep going.

Plan Something Pleasurable

The next tool is “Planning Ahead,” which involves planning your next day in half hour chunks, assigning tasks to each half hour and including an enjoyable activity at some point during the day. The research shows that this tool dramatically reduces psychological distress.

它释放了第二天挑战的精神能量。还通过在第二天计划一个愉快的活动并安排它,这意味着你更有可能这样做,这可以提高你的幸福。

Employers could encourage staff to take one or two brief breaks during the day to catch up with each other, which could help to refamiliarize staff with informal interactions and help people feel less rusty with their social skills. If they know that the space is there, and they’re being encouraged to take a break and socialize with colleagues, this may make social interactions feel less daunting.

还有一件事值得说,这是为了富有同情心,挖掘自我同情心。我们将在回归工作中有波动和焦虑,并善待自己增加我们的乐观情绪并使我们更好的问题解决方案。培养富有同情心的心态关于我们的回归工作将有助于我们回归更快乐,更有信心。

詹妮弗狂野

Psychological Scientist of The University of Oxford @DrJenWild

Dr. Jennifer Wild is a psychological scientist at the University of Oxford with expertise in risk and resilience. Dr. Wild developedSHAPE是基于证据的计划,以支持Covid-19大流行期间的前线医疗保健工人。她经常出现在媒体中,为如何为如何构建严重压力构建弹性的专家建议。

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