Ask a Wellness Coach: How do I transition back to work on campus?


Workplace In Office

After months of working from home, some faculty and staff members are back on campus. Maybe you’re among them. 

After completing the Return to Campus Orientation Program and becoming familiar with University policies, resuming some kind of normal can be exciting. But the transition may not be as seamless as you had imagined it.

The return may bring about anxiety, uncertainty and unpreparedness. Have patience with and compassion for each other and yourself, and know that there are resources, hotlines and University units that offer emotional and well-being support.

Wellness Coaches Martha Vanderheyden and Mary Shafer offer these words of encouragement to those returning to campus to work. 


Campus does not look as it did when you left months ago, and neither does your work environment. It will take time to adjust to the changes from the ‘old normal.’ Take confidence in knowing that you have the ability to adapt, just like you did if you were working from home. 

Here are some tips to navigate the transition back to campus: 

The Mental Move
Shift to a new mindset of what working on campus will offer. Focus on the opportunities of being in the same space as your coworkers. While following the University’s health and safety guidelines, working together again has its advantages. Collaboration is now simplified and everything you may need to complete your role is in one space again.

Keep a Routine
Try to get into a routine that offers structure to your day. Be mindful of when your energy is highest and let the energy patterns of your day guide you in designating tasks. For example, if your energy is highest in the morning, that may be when you would want to focus on bigger projects. If the afternoon is when you find yourself winding down, that’s when you could complete housekeeping tasks such as checking emails.

Communication Skills
Remember those virtual communication skills you developed and strengthened while working from home? Keep it going. Did you get into the habit of writing precise emails to coworkers to provide transparency in the office? Everyone could benefit from detailed and frequent communication.

Just as it may be difficult for you to readjust to being back on campus, others are transitioning too. While giving yourself compassion to find your comfort in this space again, give those around you compassion and understanding too. Communicate openly with colleagues about your concerns and anxieties. Be kind to yourself and others.

Make it Homier
Consider bringing a comfort of home to campus. If you have a locker, drive a designated golf cart or sit at a desk, add a couple photos to your space. Maybe you could bring your favorite tea bags, coffee creamer or soda to work with you. Little joys like these could give you something to look forward to. 

For a private consultation with a Wellness Coach, call 574-631-2366.