Managing the stress of returning to ‘normal’

Roughly a year and a half from the start of the first lockdown, flexible working has become the norm. 

As the restrictions ease and furlough ends, the form of working that many have adjusted to is ending with employers calling for people to return to the office.  

It is important that we recognise the various impacts that lockdown, home working and hybrid teams have caused.

Particularly in terms of health and wellbeing, communication and connection with peers and employers, including potential resistance to go ‘back to normal’. 

What we found internally at Breathe Therapies is that managing change has been the biggest stress for workers and supporting people through that on an individual basis is paramount.  

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD),, the top three most common causes of stress at work included: workloads/volume of work (59 per cent), management style (32 per cent) and new work-related demands or challenges due to home-working as a result of Covid-19 (31 per cent).  

Communicating and connecting with your workforce creatively is more important than ever

With this in mind, communicating and connecting with your workforce creatively is more important than ever.  

During lockdown Breathe Therapies’ clinical director Shelley Perry began weekly team prayer (open to all faiths) and socials, wellbeing ‘check-ins’ and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) workshops as a team, allowing time out of the workday to take a break. She developed culture check sessions, based on company and team values. 

Furthermore, it was felt that the Breathe team needed an allocated person that individuals could go to separate from their line manager to discuss their health and wellbeing, adjusting to change and to look at how the company could best support them.  

Shelley explains: “It boils down to effective communication, respect and being accessible to build a strong culture which motivates employees and ensures positive workplace wellbeing which then helps them to work towards achieving individual, team and company goals.”

Breathe Therapies offers corporate solutions to help manage change within organisations which will be tailored for the employees, managers and HR departments. To learn more, email

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