The Covid pandemic has turned our world upside down. Instead of being free to travel and go anywhere we want to – we were confined to our local area. Someone recently described this as returning to a ‘medieval existence’ when most people’s horizons did only extend to their village. Suddenly many people had to work from home, and we had to get used to our work and social connections through a small screen. The message was that staying at home was the way to stay completely safe.

Now people are being encouraged to return to work and get back to what was their normal workplace. Whilst some are overjoyed to be able to leave their back bedroom or dining room table, many are feeling fearful. It can be hard to assess whether this is due to a more general fear for the whole situation or if it is a specific fear about their own workplace.

This reluctance is unlikely to change overnight and in many cases, small steps will be needed to support those returning. Meeting with each person as they return, showing them what the organisation has put in place to make it Covid secure, and agreeing to shorter working hours initially, will all help.

For people who are very fearful just getting back into a routine should gradually help build confidence.