© 2023 WYPR
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Healthcare coverage from WYPR is made possible by support from GBMC HealthCare.

Returning To The Office? It’s Okay If You’re Scared


Returning to the office after a year of remote work can be a daunting prospect.

Erin VanLuven, a psychotherapist at Kaiser Permanente, says it’s important to accept, not judge, your feelings about going back to the office. Whether you’re excited, terrified or both, there’s no “correct” way to feel.

“Try and notice what's actually going on with you and label it,” she says on WYPR’s podcast The Daily Dose.

VanLuven also recommends that you communicate openly with your employer. And if you are going back to the office, try starting with just a few days a week.

“If your employer allows that, I would highly recommend that,” VanLuven says. “Gradual transitions are always much better than shocking our system.”

In turn, VanLuven says employers need to be flexible and transparent with their staff.

“Early, frequent and detailed communication with employees, about what to expect when they return to the office, and what the COVID safety precautions will be, is really, really important,” she says.

VanLuven also says if you’re stressed, activities like walking, meditating, and mindful breathing can help you manage anxiety.

“Really try to focus on their foundations of mental health,” she says.

For WYPR’s full interview with Erin VanLuven, check out the April 21, 2021 edition of The Daily Dose Podcast.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.