The work environment tends to be one of the most stressful aspects of our everyday life. It brings us a lot of unpredictable moments that cause stress, which may lead to worse mental and physical health. Is there anything we can do to prevent the negative and enhance the positive impact of sudden changes in the work environment?
As we live in a fast-paced world, sudden changes frequently happen. Even though there’s nothing we can do to stop them, we can learn how to adapt to them and minimise their negative impact on our well-being. So, what some of the main psychological impacts of a sudden change in your workplace?
1. Stress and anxiety
Sadly, stress and anxiety have become daily struggles most of us are facing. When you add a dose of uncertainty and sudden change to it, these negative and unconstructive feelings intensify, leaving a big mark on our mental health. Not only do we feel inadequate, but also need to find a way to cope with these emotions.
Due to the coronavirus, we had to change our work environment and start working from home. That level of uncertainty when it comes to health and work organisation in altered conditions certainly left a lot of consequences on people’s mental wellbeing. In cases like these, feeling anxious is quite natural. However, to function properly, you need to find coping mechanisms that will help you get out of the stressful situation without serious consequences.
2. Inability to focus
If you’re expecting a sudden change to happen in your workplace, chances are you won’t be able to focus on your tasks. Sudden changes, such as downsizing or change of work position, will affect your productivity, motivation and determination to keep on doing your tasks.
This kind of mental state will also affect your well-being. Poor work performance will also lead to more stress, anxiety and inability to concentrate, which will cause an endless loop. Therefore, you must snap out of it! The best way to do so is by accepting the change and trying to get the best possible outcome for you.
Mental health problems aren’t only displayed through emotional and psychological problems. Sudden changes can affect your mental health and display through physical symptoms you didn’t even know had to do with mental wellbeing. One of the most common ones is exhaustion. How does that happen if you haven’t changed your working hours?
Adapting to a change takes a lot of energy and effort. So, it’s no wonder you feel exhausted all the time. In addition to that, if you’re constantly expecting a sudden change to pop up, you’ll also get tired of anticipation, which can certainly also affect your work performance and mental health.
Imagine working hard your entire life only to find out that your position can be jeopardized due to the sudden downsizing of the organisation. You’d surely feel terrified, but at the same time frustrated as well! Prolonged frustration may take a toll on your mental health and also affect your work performance.
So, instead of taking your anger out on your household or colleagues, try doing some things to minimise frustration and ease back to your work. Even though sudden changes like these can create a lot of anger and frustration, keep in mind that every situation has a solution and a way out. Try to keep your cool and think of possible backup plans you can conduct in case sudden changes do happen.
Switching your work at the office with work at home can be a dream come true for some, while a complete nightmare for others. People are social beings who are used to everyday communication with other individuals, in this case, colleagues. If you suddenly take that away from them, they will tend to feel upset, lonely and lost.
Even though due to the current situation we can’t change the way we work, we can find ways to stay in touch with our colleagues even though we’re not physically together. Luckily, technological advancements allow us to do just that! However, carefully select the platforms where you’ll interact with other employees. To protect sensitive information, use an employee app that allows only intranet connections. Your colleagues and other employees will be just one click away.
6. Work-life imbalance
Work-life balance is one of the most important aspects of every job. If the business owners and employers don’t respect your private life, that may lead to serious psychological consequences and burnout. So, what can you do?
As most people are working from home now, it can be hard to distinguish where work ends and private life begins. That’s why doing small rituals to mark the end of the day can help you get mentally detached from your workplace. Also, don’t forget to keep your private life out of the business so you can focus on your assignments.
As you can see, the impacts of sudden change on your mental health can be various. The symptoms and emotions you experience may vary depending on your ability to accept a change of work environment and adapt to it. To minimise negative effects, try to find coping mechanisms that work the best for you.
There is a wide range of different coping mechanisms that may help you overcome the negative effects of change. Whether you decide to stay in touch with colleagues, focus on the work-life balance or minimise your frustration, know that not all changes are permanent and that there is a solution for every situation.