Culture Shock

Welcome to the Weekly Well-Being Connection! Each week we will share advice from our clinical experts on ways to care for your mental health and well-being throughout COVID-19.   

We are excited that Adam Rossow, CPA, Data and Fiscal Specialist on the Colorado Spirit Team at AllHealth Network has written this week’s post.

As the world begins its long process back to a state of normalcy, many of us are overwhelmed with thoughts like: “Am I wanting to stay remote, go hybrid, or go back to the office? Am I comfortable being in the workplace with or without a mask? What about my co-workers? What will my employer require?” This list is long, and the truth is, there is no easy answer. While it may be paralyzing, there is one commonality to it all that I hope can bring you clarity. Culture.

Think back two to three long years ago to 2019 and 2018. There were office parties, happy hours, and water cooler talk about Game of Thrones or juicy bits of gossip. Working from home was considered a perk or luxury of your job, not a necessity. Comparatively times were pretty good in those years. Even though times were good, company culture lost its way and got lazy. Deep meaningful changes, ideologies, and fundamentals were replaced with glitzy game rooms, fancy breakrooms, and tech savvy offices.

Fast forward to March 12, 2020, and these cultural fabrics that had been weaved were given the ultimate test. Many of the synthetic cultural fabrics were shredded, as the culture of glitzy, fancy, and savvy were now virtually (pun intended) meaningless. The companies and organizations that were not distracted by these, but instead slogged forward knitting a culture rooted in ethics, people, and empathy were rewarded with a resilient workforce whose cultural fabric has withstood this blast and has even been made tighter. In fact, according to a CNBC article, one of the most culturally transformative ideologies will be a shift to the people and employees.  I have the privilege of working for one of these companies. Our team is small, 100% remote, and except for our team leader, we are all transplants to the organization. Yet, every one of us agrees this team is the tightest knit any of us have ever been a part of. I truly believe that a company or organization with a synthetic culture could not have created such a tight knit team.

You may be wondering “what does this have to do with re-entry to the workplace?” So, here is the punchline. Think about your company, your job, and your employer. Are you forced to “choose” coming back to the office? Are they allowing you to choose your working situation (i.e., in person, remote, or hybrid)? If you are allowed to choose your working situation, is your company building a culture sensitive to burnout? If you are unfamiliar with burnout, here are links to some other Colorado Spirit resources. We are faced with hard conversations and decisions that should not be based upon, “what was” but rather “what is” and “what could be.” The sweet taste of the glitzy, fancy, and savvy that we were used to is now bittersweet at best. So, I invite you to reflect upon these questions; “what really matters to me? Does my employer embrace what matters to me?” You can visit a recent blog from the Colorado Spirit team to help you find what matters to you.

If speaking to someone would help, please reach out. AllHealth Network provides several supports.

  • To speak with someone in the Colorado Spirit Program about stress related to the pandemic, please call 720-707-6789 or visit our webpage at
  • For information about other services at AllHealth Network or to get connected with ongoing behavioral health support, please call 303-730-8858. AllHealth Network is continuing to provide service via telehealth or by phone and our Crisis Walk-in Center remains open 24/7.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and are in need of immediate assistance, please call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-8255 (TALK) or text TALK to 38255.

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