Around the world, the coronavirus (COVID-19) saw us in enforced ‘lockdown’ to prevent the virus from spreading. Now we’re seeing restrictions being lifted, returning to work will be a new challenge which will no doubt see a rise in anxiety among staff. So how can we stop or reduce the feelings of anxiety as we return to work? 
Lockdown anxiety 
During the UK’s lockdown between March and June 2020, global research and studies from Ipsos MORI showed just how COVID-19 was affecting people around the world. When asked on whether they were suffering from any specific condition, 28% of Britons said they were impacted by anxiety, compared to just 7% of Germans.[1] 
Most of us are familiar with the term ‘passive aggressive’ (or pass-ag). Indeed, some of us may have used some lighthearted ‘pass-ag’ behaviour towards friends or family from time to time to make a point. But pass-ag characteristics in the workplace can be irritating at best and downright hostile or damaging at worst. So what is passive aggressive behaviour in the workplace and how can you overcome it if you’re affected? 
Let’s face it - we’re living in stressful times. The world can be a complex and confusing place at the best of times, but we’re definitely inside an era-defining moment of global disruption. Our day to day worries and stresses already take up valuable head space, so when you’re faced with problems that we can’t control, how do you stop anxiety taking over? 
What is anxiety? 
We all go through periods of stress and worry. Whether it’s work, relationship, or life-related, it’s a perfectly natural response to certain situations or circumstances. Anxiety is an extension of this and usually happens when our levels of worry are ramped up enough to make us feel exceptionally tense, nervous, or afraid. 
When tensions arise in any workplace team, as a manager, it can be tempting to gloss over it or let it resolve itself. But effective management of employee tensions and conflicts in their early stages is crucial in order to minimise any fallout. So what can you do to resolve conflict in the workplace? 
What causes conflict at work? 
Team conflict can appear at any time for many different reasons. Whether it originates from low-level differences, misunderstandings, or personality clashes, or deeper, more long-established issues, it’s crucial to handle every individual situation tactfully – and quickly. 
Though not an exhaustive list, we’ve set down some of the most common reasons for conflict in the workplace – some more serious than others – and what they can mean for those involved. 
In 2015, Clearfocus Mental Health and Communications Training started life after a successful counselling, psychotherapy, and hypnotherapy company decided to shift focus to the business-training sector. 
Five years on, and Clearfocus Training provides specialist mental health and communications training to businesses and organizations up and down the country. Covering many core areas and subjects, including Mental Health in the Workplace, Mental Health Awareness, Conflict and Resolution, and Effective Communication among others, Clearfocus Training always looks to develop a safer working environment. 
But who is Clearfocus Training? This article aims to give you some background information on who we are and what it is that makes us qualified to help you and your business with mental health and communication in the workplace. 
Open and clear communication in the workplace is one of the most important aspects of running any business, whatever the industry or sector. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it’s essential for both employers and employees alike. Poor communication at work can lead to a range of potential problems which can have an adverse effect on staff performance and colleague relationships. 
Is this an area where you or your team needs to improve in 2020? Here we’ll look at some of the best ways to help become a better communicator at work with effective communication between team members and managers. 
However much you love your job, there’s nothing quite like looking forward to taking some time off. It could be a duvet day, a long weekend, or even your annual 2-week holiday in the sun. Whatever it is, you’ll have a clear vision in your mind about what you’re going to do and how you’re going to spend that valuable down time. But there’s just one thing standing in your way, and that’s getting organised at work to prepare for your time off. 
Holidays and time off away from your work is essential to your health and wellbeing. Escaping from a full and stressful workload gives you valuable space and time to really get away from it all and spend time with friends, family, and loved ones. And taking a step back helps you recharge your batteries, reduce your stress levels, and get some much needed perspective on your workload. 
Though a time of happiness and celebration for many, for some, coping with the pressures of Christmas and all that goes with it can be overwhelming. And in the workplace, many employees can feel the effects of Christmas taking its toll long before the office shutdown. So, what can employers do to help their staff deal with Christmas stress in the workplace? 
Tackling SAD 
The run up to Christmas should be something to look forward to as many businesses look to end the year on a positive – and festive – high. At one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses, the mid-winter period can leave employees with the feeling they’re not coping or performing as well as they should. 
The way we communicate to our employees can often affect the results they are able to generate. Naturally, the more positively we communicate the more influence we have over positive results. However, being a manager is not easy, there is sometimes the sense of being put on a peddle stool and others forget that you are just as human as anyone else. From time to time, being human can mean using these 3 phrases, which you should absolutely try to avoid. 
Whether it’s in our job, our hobbies, or our everyday life, it’s becoming more and more important to be able to manage time effectively. 
While to many, the ability to get through a long list of tasks in the 24 hours we get each day seems superhuman, all of us can be time management superheroes with the right tools and tips. So, don your capes and get ready to kapow! your old habits. 
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