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Back to campus: wellbeing

Any transition, even positive ones, can cause an increase in stress and anxiety. Returning to the office after months or perhaps the whole of lockdown is an uncertain situation, which will naturally cause many of us to feel anxious. You may be worried about finding a new routine, maintaining work life balance, staying healthy, getting used to a different way of working, or navigating relationships which have shifted over the past 18 months. This resource is designed to support you in your return to the office with easy to read guidance and stress management tips.

This page also includes information and guidance for managers on how to support your team during this transition.

Hints, tips and resources to support your return to campus:

Being a parent or carer may mean you have additional challenges managing a changing routine. Your first point of contact if you are concerned is your line manager. St Mary's also has policies in place to support you to balance responsibilities at work and home such as Flexible Working, Emergency Dependents Leave, and Unpaid Leave.You can also access:

For some people being back in the office means dealing with additional factors related to a disability which are more under your control when working from home. You may feel additional pressure to mask symptoms, have concerns about access or mobility in the office, or keeping yourself safe if you are clinically vulnerable.

If you have any concerns your line manager is your first point of contact. Employers have a legal duty to consider reasonable adjustments to support staff with a disability, these should be reviewed to make sure they are working.

  • Disability Staff Network: The network aims to ensure that people with disabilities have a positive experience at St Mary's from the point of applying for a job to progression within the organisation.
  • Sunflower Scheme Wellbeing Resources: The Sunflower Scheme allows people to discreetly signal that they may need support due to a hidden disability. If you see someone you are working with or supporting is wearing a Sunflower lanyard you can support the person by asking if they need any adjustments or help, but do not ask them what their disability is.
  • Workplace Sensory Adjustments: Blog from Adjust Services, a charity for raising awareness about neurodiversity in the workplace, about sensory adjustments.
  • AccessAble Accessibility Guide: access guides and accessible routes around St Mary's locations.
  • Occupational Health: You can access independent advice on reasonable adjustments through Occupational Health. Your Line Manager can refer you for an Occupational Health Assessment with a trained physician/nurse who will discuss your disability and how it impacts you at work. Following the meeting they will provide a report to your line manager with their recommendations. Please note, Occupational Health can only make recommendations and St Mary's is not obliged to implement adjustments unless they are reasonable.
  • If you are clinically vulnerable, your Line Managers will discuss your individual circumstances and concerns to determine whether you are able to work safely and effectively on campus, remotely or a combination of both (blended working). If you have any concerns please speak to your line manager in the first instance.

If you are experiencing stress and/or anxiety there is a range of support you can access, such as the Employee Assistance Line, and Able Futures. But there is also plenty you can do to support yourself at work as you return:

Managers play a vital role in helping make sure the pressure your staff are under does not exceed their ability to manage it. Managing the risk of workplace stress, and effective change management will be especially important.