Dealing with Changes in the Workplace

Tips to Deal with Change in the Workplace

Most of us do not like change. Getting pushed out of our comfort zone, getting used to a new work environment, probably having to get used to a new leadership as well are some of the worries that might plague us when we are faced with a possibility of change at the workplace.

Yet, change is inevitable and often needed for growth. Hence, it would be wiser to accept it and to learn to deal with changes at work to make the transition easier.

Change Can Affect Mental Health

Our attitude determines how we cope with change. Those who dwell on the negative aspects of every situation are usually averse to change. This outlook adds to the stress a change brings. Sometimes even a change for the better can be stressful. This might simply be because of a fear of the unknown and a feeling of not being in control. When the stress becomes too much for the person to handle, it might manifest as physical conditions like the following:

  • The person might develop headaches.
  • Sleep habits are affected and the person experiences an inability to sleep.
  • Problems with digestion and stomach pain.
  • Muscle stiffness which can in turn cause back pain.
  • Hypertension and heart issues.
  • Depression, anxiety and moodiness.
  • Loss of appetite or alternatively going on an eating binge.
  • Resorting to alcohol or other forms of drugs.

Sometimes, we know that a change is going to happen and our mind gets some time to adapt to it. However, there are also situations wherein a change might be a bolt from the blue and coming to terms with it might be hard. Be it unexpected or otherwise, there are many ways to deal with change. Learning these coping mechanisms will make adjusting to the change easier.

Possible Changes Encountered

Getting fired or going through a reshuffle is not the only change that can bring on stress though to be sure they might be the most stressful. Changes in the workplace can take many forms.

  • “Will I be able to meet expectations?”

When a team manager whom you are comfortable with quits or moves on to take another role and a new manager takes his/her place, there might be some anxiety regarding the new person’s style of work, approachability, etc.

  • “Will I be able to work smoothly with the new recruit?”

A new co-worker with whom you have to work with closely to execute tasks can cause some anxiety as well.

  • “Will I be able to learn something new at this age?”

With constantly evolving technology, it is possible that what we know might become obsolete and there might arise a necessity to learn new technology. This might lead to doubting oneself.

Tips to Deal with Change

There are a few things we can do to help deal with change.

  • If the entire organization is going through a reshuffle, chances are your co-workers are feeling the stress too. Communicating with colleagues, talking about the change and offering to help them is a great way to deal with change.
  • Acknowledge that you are stressed about the change. Once you come to terms with it, you will be in a much better position to handle it. Denying feelings of stress or any form of escapism only makes the situation worse.
  • Stay in touch with your former co-workers too. Help them out with things that you were handling; you will not just be doing a good deed but will feel good about it too.
  • When there is a change happening, the chances of communication gaps are more. Be vocal about your questions and doubts; clarifying things is always better than assumptions.
  • Technology is constantly evolving so a course on the latest innovations in your field could help you feel better prepared to navigate the change.
  • Try to change your attitude towards change. Believe that it is a chance at something better however difficult it may be initially.
  • Confide in your friends and family. While they may not be able to actively do anything about it, you will feel better just unburdening yourself.
  • In spite of all the above measures, if you continue feeling stressed, do remember that professional help is always available – do not hesitate to reach out.

Taking Heart from Our Past

The pandemic is definitely something that has taken nerves of steel to get through. We suffered all kinds of losses, personal and financial – yet, the fact that we have seen through more than 2 years of it is a sign of our strength and resilience. We all had to dig deep, it was not easy but we came out of it wiser.

We have all weathered the storm with a strength we never knew we possessed. In a day, our lives turned upside down as we were thrust into a “new normal” but we dealt with it. It was a huge change but here we are. And that is the biggest take away from this pandemic, the realization that the strength to deal with change resides in each one of us.