OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Over a year ago our lives were turned upside down. We had to learn how to do pretty much all aspects of our lives in a new way, creating new routines. Now that many of us are going back to our old way of doing things, such as returning to the office, some of us are finding it a bit hard to bounce back.
“I think that what we have to realize is that this is a normal response to another big change,” said Carrie Slatton-Hodges, Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
What was once normal, now might not feel as such.
Sitting for hours at a desk now isn’t having the same effect as it did pre-pandemic. Productivity has actually decreased for some.
“The workplace is really interesting, especially because I think there’s so many things we have learned that we can do from home, and so going back to what it was before does not exactly feel like the most productive thing to do to many people,” said Slatton-Hodges.
Working from home, while uncomfortable at first, proved to have its perks, such as gaining time from not having to commute.
“So I think what we really have to do is take the great lessons that we have learned, in that we can be productive utilizing Zoom and digital platforms, and intermixing those slowly with being back to face-to-face areas,” said Slatton-Hodges.
Slatton-Hodges said hybrid work environments may be the way of the future, such as splitting the work week between home and the office.
“I think the key, society-wise and employment-wise, is for us to be able to come back and take those valuable lessons that we’ve learned, things that have been better for our work productivity and better for our mental health, and incorporate those into our new work environment,” said Slatton-Hodges.
No matter where you work, though, know that help is available for your mental health. You can call 2-1-1 to see what resources are available where you live in Oklahoma.
Slatton-Hodges reminds us that as we go through another big change, we should be gracious with ourselves.
“We didn’t get here in a minute, and it took everybody time to adjust to what became the new normal, and it’s going to take everybody time to adjust to what the next new normal is going to be,” said Slatton-Hodges. “So give yourself some grace.”
Is your workplace embracing a hybrid work environment? If so, let us know what you think of the change.