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Learn & Practice

Workplace Wednesday: Practice Insight to Return to the Office

By The Healthy Minds Team

In this week’s Workplace Wednesday, how to use self-inquiry to support the back-to-the-office transition.

As the world opens back up, many offices will as well. If you are an office worker who was able to work predominantly from home this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, you may be facing this upcoming transition with perhaps a bit of trepidation.

Change is hard regardless of whether or not it is good change. You may have longed to get back to hallway conversations, in-person brainstorming sessions, or even just the luxury of leaning over and asking a question to a colleague without having to wait on a digital response. But, as the ability to return to the office – thanks to the availability of vaccines – looms on the horizon, you may also have conflicting, perhaps anxious feelings as well.

In this week’s Workplace Wednesday we’ll spend some time investigating this situation, or practicing Insight, so you can practice self-inquiry and gain a better understanding of your emotions around this transition.

  • Step 1: Bring the situation of returning to an in-person work environment to mind. Be specific, and picture what that looks and feels like.

  • Step 2: Ask yourself two simple questions. 1) “What do I believe to be true here?” and 2) “Is it actually true?” [Tip: This can be a great journaling exercise!] Treat these questions with a light touch. The point isn’t to be hard on yourself, or to get critical. The point is exploration and discovery. So stay curious and open. For example, you may believe that you will be socially awkward and not know how to interact with your colleagues in-person. With question #2, you can dig into whether this belief is real or not.

  • Step 3: Dig deeper. Once some of your hidden beliefs start to surface, ask yourself, “Am I seeing the whole picture here? Is this actually true beyond any shadow of doubt?” You’ll likely observe that any belief, no matter how “accurate” is going to be limited and one-sided.

  • Step 4: Practice reflection and send yourself kindness. You can take a few days between your journaling and give yourself the gift of reflection and grace. Taking some time to sit with your emotions can smooth over even the roughest of transitions. Remember to be kind to yourself!

When you actually return to the office, take a look back at these reflections. How real were they? What actually took place? This exercise can peel back the layers of our own assumptions.

Once we uncover the limitations of our own beliefs and interpretations, we find ourselves with more room in our minds to see situations with more clarity.

Learn more about how the Healthy Minds Framework can support your workplace well-being with Healthy Minds @Work or join our intensive public MasterClass to learn the Healthy Minds Framework for Well-Being on your time.

HM@Work Workplace Wednesdays