By now, you’ve probably heard about the new ban on telecommuting being implemented at Yahoo! The corporation’s latest CEO wants workers and teams to be side-by-side in an effort to improve employee communication and creativity. The change has obviously brought about strong negative feelings from employees and critics from outside the company because they feel it is a decrease in workplace flexibility. But, the simple fact that it is a change is also likely another cause of anxious feelings because something familiar is being phased out.
Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, when policies and procedures change (especially ones that have been in effect for a long while), it can be difficult to adjust and do things differently. Even when the change is seemingly positive and welcomed, it will probably mean that you’ll need to learn and adjust to a new way of doing things. Rather than get thrown off track, start planning how you can successfully transition and incorporate new changes into your work life.
Keep your emotions in check
You may want everything to stay exactly the same and hearing that there will be new policies and procedures can make you feel uncomfortable and unsure. Try to keep negative emotions under control so that you can strategically plan your next steps. If you’re freaking out, you’ll have a harder time crafting a plan of action. When you’re tempted to complain, pause and remind yourself that you are in control of your emotions and have the ability to see things in a positive light.
Gather all the necessary information
Getting as much information as possible about why things will be done differently can help you to better understand why the change is happening. Equally important is making sure that you’re getting information from the appropriate sources. Water cooler conversations or highly charged reactions from colleagues likely will not have the details that can help you process and understand why things are changing. It’s okay to have questions, but be sure to communicate with the right people (human resources department, direct supervisors) to get the answers you need. Find out how your position will be impacted and what the new expectations are. Though you may not agree with the upcoming changes, knowing what to expect will help you …
Create a new plan
Once you have all the pertinent information, you can plan how your new day-to-day work life will look and feel. Consider mapping out (or sketching) what your new day might look like. Do you need to travel to a new work location? Will you have new responsibilities? Consider uploading your plan (and any notes you have) to Evernote or record them in a paper journal so that can refer to it when you need to. Whatever the changes are, be sure that you have the tools needed to do your job well. Do you have the proper training to manage new responsibilities? Are you making use of technology tools (like reminder and project management apps)?
Focus on the benefits
With change, there are usually opportunities. They may not be as obvious at first, so take a minute to think through some of the positive things that may come about because of the change. Perhaps you will learn a new skill or get a chance to demonstrate your level of expertise more fully. If, like Yahoo! out-of-office employees, you will need to begin working from the company headquarters, it is possible you might strike up more fruitful partnerships with your colleagues. Being in the same location may change the dynamic of your working relationship, and you might find working alongside your coworkers in the same office will allow for greater creativity and collaboration. Keep in mind that there is often an upside to things that initially seem negative. Think things through fully to discover the positive impact that change may have for you.