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Return to Work Guide - Cover and Pages

The Comprehensive Guide to Returning to the Workplace with Mental Health in Mind

Designed by clinicians, our Return to Work guide offers practical advice for supporting your employees through the countless mental health challenges they will encounter as companies work toward reopening their workplaces.

Learn more about:

  • Adjusting policies and benefits to accommodate vulnerable groups
  • Building skills to cope with stress, anxiety, and burnout
  • Enabling managers to support employees throughout the transition
  • Encouraging self-compassion, empathy, and resilience
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Inside the guide

Setting the right tone starts with communications

Sharing updates with employees regarding your return-to-office plans may be difficult as it’s a quickly evolving conversation, but the transparency will pay off. Communicating often and sharing the “why” behind certain decisions will foster more trust among employees, even when it’s not what they want to hear. Make sure to include information about your mental health benefits as well and find opportunities to reduce stigma around reaching out for support during this time.

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Staying in sync with employees

Staying connected with your employees while remote is hard. Conducting a quick pulse survey is a great way to gauge how your employees and people managers are feeling about the return to in-person work, where their excitement or concerns lie, and how you can make the transition easier or more manageable for them. Don’t worry, we have pre-written questions you can copy and paste for easy use.

Ex. What actions would you like to see us take before you’re comfortable returning to the office?

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Easing the transition

Offering benefits that can ease the return-to-workplace transition is a fundamental way to reinforce to employees that you care about them and their mental well-being. A few benefits that are considered in the guide include:

  • More comprehensive mental health support
  • Childcare and PTO benefits
  • Commuter benefit adjustments
  • Return-to-work programs and disability
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The managers’ role in mental well-being

Managers are often a front line of support to employees. Consider how you can support your managers in this responsibility. Proactive well-being check-ins, even (and especially) after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, are highly recommended by Lyra’s mental health clinicians.

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Webinar series: hear from leading companies and experts

The Future of the Office–How to Return to the Office with Mental Health in Mind


As a site of early COVID-19 outbreaks, California has been on the front lines of the pandemic since the beginning. Hear from one of the architects of the state’s response about the data they used to shut down and how they are planning the reopening.

Watch now

Starbucks’ Perspective: Returning to Work with Resiliency


With more than 15,000 locations spread across the U.S., Starbucks has a unique vantage point on the pandemic. Learn how they have managed through the public health uncertainty and the strategy they’re using to help their teams return to work.

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Returning to Work: How Managers Can Support Their Teams’ Emotional Well-Being


As you prepare to bring employees back into the workplace, learn from Lyra clinicians about how you can better respond to your teams’ needs during this “new normal” so you can emerge from this crisis with a healthier, more resilient workforce.

Watch now

Additional Resources

Guidance from mental health experts on vaccine anxiety and how to enhance resiliency with preventative mental health care and support.

Read more on the Lyra blog

Benefits Professional

Vaccine Anxiety: What It Is, And How to Cope

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How Can Preventative Care Improve Employee Mental Health?

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