“The only constant thing in life is change.”
We all have heard of this adage and can’t help but agree on this truthful statement. Change is everywhere. Whether you like it or not, you will experience some transitions, both major and minor, in your lifetime. Changes in an office setting is not an exception.
What are these changes?
Aside from daily tasks that stresses you one way or another, changes like these can add up to the things you have to deal with at work:
- Introduction of a new office culture– You may be used to a “way of life” or, simply put, the culture inside the workplace, such as flexible working hours or a casual dress code. That is, until the management puts up a memo asking everyone to comply with the new set of rules.
- Technology– This can be a challenge especially for employees who are not that tech-savvy and are still learning to use some of the basics. Workers who are included in the upper age bracket may find it confusing or disorienting.
- Concept– For people who are working for multiple clients that come and go, like in advertising agencies, getting immersed in a particular project and proceeding to the next may not always be a smooth transition.
- Promotion and demotion– While the former is essentially a good thing, both changes in position need a period of adjustment depending on the coping mechanisms of the person involved. It also means learning things that are unfamiliar to you.
- Colleague’s or manager’s resignation– Even if your relationship with that person is purely professional, you have already learned to adjust to their working style and behavior, and their absence may affect your own performance.
- Working with a new employee– You are already settled in your team, aware of each other’s talents and quirks, then a complete stranger enters your circle and should be introduced to your established culture. Group development and forming a solid team doesn’t happen overnight and everyone has to adjust to an extent.
7 Ways to Manage Change
These changes can provide herculean challenges that you have to deal with. There is no quick answer or a proven study that can eradicate change in the workplace or life in general because it can never be stopped. Change is an unending cycle and the only thing you can do is face it head-on.
Here are practical tips you can apply on how to manage change in the workplace:
#1. Accept it
Acceptance is the first step to dealing with change. You have to acknowledge that change is inevitable and that for a person or an organization to grow and develop, they must first experience unfamiliarity. On a bigger scale, keep in mind that seven billion people around the world encounter different stages of change every day. It happens to everyone, not just you.
#2. Think positive
Being optimistic about everything is easier said than done, but that is what you should do. That girl who sits next to your cubicle may have submitted her resignation but that doesn’t mean you cannot find good company with your other officemates. A loss can open a lot of wonderful doors. Her departure can help you discover colleagues who are good at mentoring or meet with other employees who can be good lunch buddies. Find the good in that situation and you will notice everything around you falling into place.
#3. Go the extra mile
Like change, learning is an unending process. You must not be contented with what you know now and should be always on the look-out for new knowledge. If you are given the privilege to be in a higher position, accept it. Do not be afraid to try out something new just because you are scared of the “what ifs”.
Go the extra mile and learn about your new position. Research on your new role, study about your tasks, read more, and spend more time familiarizing yourself with the new.
#4. Do not lose focus
You might be taking an unusual route because of changes in schedule or office environment, but that should not stop you from doing “business as usual”. Do not dwell too much on factors that contributed to that change. Instead, give your full attention to doing your job well in the middle of chaos and uncertainty.
#5. Ask about the tasks ahead
Awareness is key to understanding the changes you have to go through. Never be afraid to ask why you have to be transferred to a different department, why you have to study digital marketing, or why you have to go to work an hour earlier than usual.
If everything is clear, you will slowly learn to accept and understand why you have to undergo these transitions. Change has to happen to keep up with the ever-changing environment, discover and develop new skills, and/or cut off bad habits; this is how maturity and progress gradually take place.
#6. Talk about it
If you are having a hard time coping, speak up. Talk to your manager, to a trusted colleague, or to a long-time friend. You have to let it out and admit that you cannot handle change by yourself. Again, change is experienced by everyone.
Ask for other people’s opinion and never think twice about calling for help. Some people are better at handling challenges, so it is just right to ask them for advice on overcoming workplace hurdles. Maintain an open communication with your boss to let him know how a situation affects your work, so he can understand and make some leeway for you if resources would permit.
#7. Be happy
They say that happiness is a choice and it really is. You are bombarded with different challenges everyday and one of these challenges is change. It’s hard to see the good in everything especially when things are not going your way but try to enjoy and appreciate the little things.
Look at the brighter side of life. List down your “Atleast…”, “I’m still lucky because…”, “I should be thankful for…” and see why these changes have to happen. It always happens for a reason—it may be for you or for the common good.
How did “change” change your life in the office? Tell us your story.
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