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Working Remotely and Adjusting to Change

In addition to his counselling work, ICP Psychologist Mark McMahon has operated at the elite performance level as well as having coached sporting teams at the highest level of their endeavour and competition. Mark thought to share some insights he has in working remotely and adjusting to change.

We have all been forced into significant change over the first half of the year 2020. Many of us are working from home and doing our best to adjust to these different circumstances.

Whilst some have enjoyed the change, many of us have struggled with this adjustment. Through my recent counselling, a common theme of discussion is the challenge of making a family home into your private office space and staying focused on your business goals in a different environment. What I see the most is people resisting change or not adapting to the new situation because of the belief it will all go back to how it was before. However, as we are all well aware, the workplace may well not be the same after this period and there is always more change awaiting in the future. Because of this I have put together some thoughts and guidance about accepting and adjusting to change.

  • Talk about the problem, but also focus on solutions - There is a belief that talking about out our problems at length helps us work through our emotions. However, research has shown that by repeatedly verbalising negative emotions we actually inhibit ourselves from adjusting to change. What we should do is recognise what we are feeling and how this emotion might affect your ability to adjust, identify the true problem and gain/ think of practical advice about your next step forward. This allows you to have clear site into the core issue and solve it as quickly as possible, rather than dwelling on and trying to ‘fix’ an emotional response.

  • It is important to get a positive perception on stress - There are different types and levels of stress; some pressure can help us focus and perform, whilst we all may reach a ‘tipping point’ where the stress becomes overwhelming. Many get stressed about being stressed and allow that to overwhelm them rather than focusing on the issue at hand. We can however change our attitude to stress and we may find that stress can carry us through a challenge and keep us focused on doing our best. So, ask yourself, what is causing this stress? And how is this stress motivating me to excel in the right direction?

  • Accept the past, accept that it is never coming back – Find the positives about the present and the future rather than living in the past, because the past never comes back to us.

  • Find comfort in unpredictability – Get excited about what the future may bring and don’t expect to ever ‘arrive’ at a final destination. The common desire to arrive at a final state where there will be no change is a delusion. You will always be changing and adjusting, so enjoy it and get good at it.

References: Tasler, 2016; Business Harvard Review

A Few Quick Tips on Adjusting to Change:

  • Find the positives in the situation – sometimes this can be difficult, but you can identify positives in most change.

  • Don’t wait for negative change to come to you – sometimes we stall when we know there is negative change coming, but we need to think about alternatives and meet them first.

  • Accept you will always be changing – this constant phenomenon will always happen and is impossible to stop, understand this and embrace it.

  • Accept that it’s your responsibility – how you deal with change and make the most out of your circumstances is up to you, so don’t blame others for the change but take responsibility yourself on how you adjust to it.

  • Identify your values instead of focusing on your fears – change doesn’t mean your core values change. By identifying your values you can ‘remain you’ whilst adjusting.

(Goldsmith, 2016)

Change can be hard. If you are going through change or anticipating difficult challenges ahead, reach out to people you can trust or seek coaching support.

If you would like support or coaching for your team on how to adjust to change and even take advantage of it, contact us today: Individual sessions and group workshops are available.


Reference List

Goldsmith, B. (2016). Adapting to Change. Retrieved 30 June 2020, from

Tasler, N. (2016). How to Get Better at Dealing with Change. Retrieved 30 June 2020, from

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