Return to office concerns are normal, Valley mental health expert says

Jul 22, 2021, 4:35 AM | Updated: 11:20 am

(Pexels photo)...

(Pexels photo)

(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX – The World Health Organization over a year ago declared the spread of COVID-19 a global pandemic, an announcement that changed the whole world.

The announcement brought about widespread anxiety over the pandemic and mitigation measures, one of which was social isolation that took a toll on mental health.

As the world returns to what was normal prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who were sentenced to work from home are experiencing a new anxiety – the fear of returning to work.

Dr. Melissa Estavillo, a mental health specialist at Biltmore Psychology and Counseling in Phoenix, says that given the disruption the pandemic caused in so many people’s lives, and the length of time it lasted, it is completely natural to have concerns about returning to the office.

“Many people struggled to work from home in the beginning because it was a drastic change, but it was long enough that people got used to it,” Estavillo told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday. “Now we are having the exact same thing going back to work.”

Estavillo said we as humans do not adjust easily to change, so it will take time for the nerves to settle.

She recommends looking at the positives when you make an appearance back in the office.

“Connect with some of the friendships that can help us feel empathy and understood,” Estavillo said.

It’s also important to advocate for your feelings with your employer, whether it’s describing any anxiety or worries that you have about being away from home and your family or if you are concerned about your health.

The reasons people could be worried about heading back to work in-person are likely different for each.

Some may have simply got used to a new way of doing things at home and could be reluctant to return to the way things were prior to the pandemic, while others could be concerned about the new highly-transmissible COVID-19 delta variant.

“People felt, when they were working from home, a little bit more in control of when they were exposed potentially to coronavirus,” Estavillo said. “Coming back to work, ideally, many companies were doing that at its lowest point, but that’s changed now with the variant.”

Estavillo added there’s another concern for kids as many head back to school this week.

She described it being difficult for parents to get back into the routine while being back at the office, in addition to worrying about the delta variant as kids return to the classroom.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The first batch of bottle-fed baby kittens of the year under the Arizona Humane Society's care are ...

Arizona Humane Society’s 1st bottle baby kittens of 2024 ready for adoption

The first batch of bottle-fed baby kittens of the year under the Arizona Humane Society's care are now ready for their forever homes.

2 hours ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

6 hours ago

(Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Elderly woman presumed dead in northern Arizona after reporting her house on fire

An elderly woman was believed to have been found dead in her northern Arizona home after she had reported that it caught fire on Saturday.

7 hours ago

fall off Gilbert multi-story parking garage...

19-year-old dies after falling from Gilbert parking garage, police say

Police said 19-year-old Mubasher Masood died after falling off the top of a Gilbert multi-story parking garage.

8 hours ago

Gas prices are on the decline in Arizona. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)...

Danny Shapiro

Arizona gas prices on the fall heading into Memorial Day weekend

Arizona drivers will get the benefit of decreasing gas prices heading into Memorial Day weekend.

10 hours ago

Follow @Ali_Vetnar...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Return to office concerns are normal, Valley mental health expert says