Why the return to the office is just plain exhausting

Why the return to the office is just plain exhausting
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For some, returning to the office (even if it’s only part-time) has been dreadful. For others, it’s been a welcome return to normalcy. But for almost everyone, returning to the office has meant relearning how to act appropriately in the workplace.

See, during the pandemic, lots of office workers got accustomed to waking up 10 minutes before their first meeting, pouring a cup of joe and getting started while still in their pajamas (with the camera off, of course). As a result, social etiquette has become stunted, and experts say it’ll take some time before we get used to those formal and professional work situations again.

This is compounded by the fact that now, with hybrid work options available at lots of companies, the office is meant more for collaboration. Previously, a day spent at the office probably meant some mix of social and teamwork as well as solo work. But now, most hybrid models mean that a day at the office is spent primarily socializing and doing collaborative work, leaving people’s social batteries even more drained by the time the day is over.

The good news is that experts say this exhaustion from social interaction will probably not last forever – if the pandemic taught us anything, we’re good at adapting to what we have.

According to Jane Parry, the director of the Centre for Research on Work and Organisations at Southampton University in the UK, “managers said again and again that people were much more adaptable than they ever thought they would be. We don’t give them enough credit.”