MCALLEN, Texas (CBS 4) – Working from home is the new reality for thousands across the nation that have switched to teleworking to avoid spreading COVID-19.
With Texas starting to open little by little and more people starting to feel a bit normal, some are struggling to head back to the office.
“It is a big adjustment, people are resistant to change, that’s what the issue is,” said James Whittenberg, a licensed professional counselor who practices in the Rio Grande Valley.
It can take around 60 days for a human to form a habit, according to a 12-week study done by the European Journal of Social Psychology.
It was also about 60 days ago when many people started getting sent home to work from their house in hopes it would halt the spread of COVID-19.
“I do have clients that do have anxiety and OCD and have experienced trauma and they don’t feel comfortable coming into the office and that’s fine,” said Whittenberg, “Right now, it’s even more common than depression or relationship issues and I think it’s the mixed signals they’re getting, wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, shelter in place, there’s not a vaccine, that has been difficult for my clients to get into a comfort zone.”
A comfort zone that for many might be broken when they are told it’s time to head back to the office.
“There was the anxiety of having to work from home, and then you get comfortable and you’re in your comfort zone and then now you have the anxiety about going back,” said Whittenberg.
Experts said planning for when you go back can help reduce stress.
“Make sure you hire somebody to help with your kids, house cleaning, take things to work that will help be more home like and comfortable for you,” said Whittenberg.
Seeking professional help if you need it is also an option, as many insurance providers cover counseling sessions.
Experts also suggest having open communication with your employer to weigh all options if you don’t feel comfortable heading back just yet.