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How to Adapt to Changes at Work and Stay Productive

The only constant in life is change.

After navigating the last two years, we all know how true this is, especially when it comes to work. Some of us have bounced from in-office to remote and back again. Changing work environments, company restructuring, and more can feel unstable and uncertain, but change is inevitable. If we want to be successful, we have to learn to cope with change and thrive in the midst of it. But adapting to change isn’t always easy.

Here are some tips to cope with workplace change and stay productive:

Look at change as an opportunity.

Every change brings new opportunities. A promotion may bring new responsibilities. Training a new employee can give you the gift of a fresh perspective. Working remotely may help you develop new time management skills. Even company restructuring can offer new job titles, roles, and insights. Changes are possibilities for personal and professional growth.

When change happens, what opportunities are presented to you?

Accept things you can’t control.

Okay, maybe learning to embrace the change is a tall order but can you learn to accept it? Change is a natural part of life. There are endless things in life (and at work) we can’t control. Staying fixated and frustrated by these things accomplishes nothing.

Let go of the way things “used to be.”

Focus on things you can control like your response, your attitude, and your behavior. By learning to accept change, we can more quickly adapt.

Meet new possibilities with positivity.

Train your mind to focus on the positive. When we have a positive mindset, we’re more inclined to see the possibilities instead of the pitfalls. By shifting our mental boundaries, we’re more flexible to change. Some changes happen fast and we’re left reeling, trying to catch up. This is a volatile time where our attitude and mindset can easily influence the outcome. A positive attitude is essential to our ability to adjust rapidly. How can you focus on the positive?

Help others.

You’re not alone. Chances are there are others at your company having difficulty navigating changes at work. Who else is being affected? When we turn our focus from self and redirect it to others, it can be easier to cope with change. Connect with your coworkers. Grab lunch together. Check in. When you nurture relationships, it’s mutually beneficial. You never know when you’ll need help from them in the future. How can you help?

Use goal-setting to renew your focus.

A new goal can give you new clarity of focus. I love setting goals because it motivates me. If you’re goal-oriented, you know how good it feels to accomplish something you’ve been working towards. Goals don’t have to be big or scary. They don’t even have to be work-related. Simple works too. An easy to-do list and checking things off can give you the same rush of accomplishment. This also helps give you a sense of control and productivity. What achievable goals can you set for yourself?

Get connected.

Navigating changes is more difficult when we’re not connected. When we’re used to doing things a certain way, it’s hard to break that cycle. But it’s even harder if we’re not sure exactly what we’re supposed to be doing or we feel alone doing it. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Communication gaps can leave us feeling anxious, uncertain, and confused.

Communication is critical.

The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel. Staying connected with your coworkers helps maintain productivity and keeps you up-to-date with what’s going on around you.

Find time to reflect.

Chances are you’ve experienced big changes before. You’ve risen to challenges before. You can do it again. Find some time to reflect on obstacles you’ve faced in the past and how you overcame them. Maybe it was a new job, a change in job roles, new software, or strategies. With the vantage point you have today, it’s likely easier to spot the opportunities the changes offered you. What skills did you learn? How did you grow? What strategies were useful for you as you adapted to the change?

Get some outside perspective.

Looking back at the changes to the workplace during the last two years, almost everyone I know has been affected. Many workplaces have rapidly changed. Tap into those resources. Maybe you have a friend or family member who has faced something similar. Even if they don’t have advice, sometimes a bit of encouragement can go a long way.

I hope these tips help you feel more empowered to face the workplace changes you’re experiencing. It can be hard to stay focused and productive when things feel constantly in flux. Flexibility and adaptability are skills we can learn to help us face the changes ahead. I embrace change because I view it as a chance to grow.

What is your top tip for adapting to changes in the workplace?

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