Back To Office Anxiety: 4 Reasons People Afraid of Going Back To The Offices

pexels andrea piacquadio 3966781

pexels andrea piacquadio 3966781

Back to the office is what people fear the most these days. People have been working from home for more than a year, yet many firms are already summoning their employees back to the office. This has left them mixed feelings, but one thing is for sure these people and yes including you, are not ready for it. 

According to a recent survey, one-third of Malaysians are not ready to return to their offices, preferring to work from home under this new normal brought by the Covid-19 outbreak. So rest assured,  it’s not only you who is fearing returning to work.

The survey, Are We Ready to Be Back In Office?. Market research firm Ipsos, found 33% of Malaysians prefer to work entirely from home, while another 32% choose to work from a different location.

In addition to that, Malaysians would choose to work from home for more than half of their working week, or 2.8 days as per the survey. 

But why is this happening? What is the reason for all this fear? Below are a few reasons why people are afraid of going back to the office.

1. Phobias of a germ-infested workplace 

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Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, people have become paranoid about everything. And they should be because sometimes it’s nearly impossible to control people to wear the mask all the time and comply with the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP)  given by the relevant authority.

While some are complying with full SOP, others have some different perspectives, they are seen not concerned about what is happening in the world, they will just go meet people, shake hands, hug each other as nothing ever happened and even care less about the consequences.

This action leads people tends to be more afraid and has the anxiety to go back to the office. Although many companies already take precautions to ensure the office is sanitized regularly.

Some people still have phobias with the virus and bacteria especially those people who are clean freaks or those people who have contracted Covid-19 while they are in the office in the past. There is a high possibility that these employees are afraid of going back to the office due to their trauma.


2. There isn’t much to do during free time at work.

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As we all know, going to the office means you have to go back from 9 am to 6 pm in the office routine again. But working from home, makes you feel rested and we could also use the time wisely when in a break from work.

This allows you to do laundry, home chores or even shop for groceries without having the feeling like you wasting your precious free time. Rather than attempting to fit it all into a weekend day, it ultimately exhausts you and leaves you with insufficient rest.

The working from home scenario makes you feel the new breath of life, Because before this, all you did was wake up, go to work, get back home, sleep and repeat that all over again. Now, with working from home you get to live an actual life. However, with the news of coming back to the office, all of this surely will be gone forever.

In my opinion, there’s a strong possibility that this could be the main reason why employees fear coming back to the office, but surely other people will have a different opinion about this.

3. Loss social skills and filled with anxiety  

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Entering offices does not feel like it used to be. Apart from wearing face masks, following social distancing guidelines and other standard operating guidelines suggesting how to behave properly and courteously, routines like taking the train or waiting in a packed elevator might trigger anxiety. It’s a time-consuming procedure that not everyone enjoys.

As we all know, some of us have indulged in food during this pandemic, making them gains maybe a few kg. This also contributes to their anxiety and causes them to lose some self-confidence and always anxious about what other people think of them.

4. Remote work has been a success. Why interfere with something that’s already working?

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Since working from home is seen to be a success, why bother to change it? By working remotely, employees can enjoy all the freedom in their home offices – wearing whatever clothes you like, arranging the day so it fits you better than the default 9 am to 6 pm and taking a quick power nap if the work problems pressure you out.

Working in a stress-free environment brings a lot of achievement and productivity to the employees and also to the company. Lucky for us, we are living in the new technology era where everything can be done online anytime and anywhere.

As long as we have an internet connection then a lot can be done. According to Star News, companies who use cloud computing enjoyed the benefits during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period because they were able to respond swiftly, such as managing costs or scaling up usage.

The time has come for businesses or companies to start their digital journey because it does not only benefit them but also their employees as they can easily and flexibly work from home.

In fact, several recent studies have found that working remotely from home is more productive than working in an office, On average, those who work from home consume 10 minutes less each day, work one more day a week, and are 47% more efficient.

To sum it up

Of course, it depends on your circumstance, working from home might be a more productive work environment than a traditional office workstation, helping to achieve a better work-life balance. The present pandemic has altered the way we work, we interact and also the way we live. Where more businesses prefer at-home solutions. To keep up with the community, you have to be versatile.

To maintain, employees’ productivity remains at company goals for months to come, make sure they are comfortable, supervised, and healthy.

Disclaimer: The author contributed to this article in her own personal capacity. The view expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent the view of Enfrasys. 

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