By Cloé Caron, PCC, certified coach & Anik Desjardins, CHRP, ACC, certified coach

We all want this return! We can’t wait to see each other again, to talk to each other again, to meet – and I almost dare not say, to hug each other. At the same time, we wonder how we’re going to leave our comfort, our jogging pants, our flexibility and our distances to recreate promiscuity…

How are we going to find ourselves, after this pandemic fatigue, ours and that of our employees? How are we going to manage the apprehensions of our team, maintain flexibility, adapt? It’s a cosmic return! Might as well make it fun!

There is a lot of ambivalence and unease about this return that some are looking forward to and others apprehend. We might even live this ambivalence ourselves, I know, I live it. I finally have an in-person team meeting this week that I look forward to and feel ambivalent about. We are both happy, excited at the idea of meeting again and at the same time, worried about this return to promiscuity. There will be many questions to which we will not have the answers, there will possibly be embarrassing situations, unpredictability, discomfort.

We offer you three simple tips to put in place for you and your team.

  1. Normalize. It is normal to feel ambivalent, to hesitate between happy or not, to be worried, to not know, to feel out of control. Pretty much everyone is going through this right now and probably even on a planetary level. Realize that this is possibly your case and/or that of some of your employees. Acknowledge that it’s normal, say it.
  • Encourage exchanges. Ask questions and engage in conversations with your employees in team and individual meetings. What are their concerns? How do they feel? What unsettles them? What do they need right now? 
  • Use humor. Take discomfort lightly, laugh about yourself and play it down with humor, creating opportunities to laugh about the situation with your employees. Go around the table with your team: what moment in teleworking was the most awkward for them? What’s the weirdest or funniest thing for them about coming back? 

Humor is a great valuable management tool for defusing discomfort and tension and for connecting with people. Studies have shown that laughter reduces stress and anxiety, fights fatigue, improves sleep and improves intellectual abilities. Do not deprive yourself of it! We wish you a light return!