Workplace FOMO in 2022

Enthusiasm to return to the office continues to grow, yet FOMO is here to stay. Having lost those intangible advantages of co-working in the same space, connectivity has suffered as decreased engagement with senior colleagues leaving many feeling less productive, although technology kept us connected, it was no replacement for unscripted exchange.  

FOMO: Fear of Missing Out - Careerguide

Forbes stated back in December 2020 that there are five (5) ways to experience less FOMO:  

  1. shift your mindset to one of positivity;  
  2. be a leader in this virtual experiment;  
  3. take action to those instincts;  
  4. be objective;  
  5. and choose your inner circle with caution.  

In April of 2021, Gensler published an article on how ‘FOMO is driving people back to the office.’ Vaccines were just rolling out against the enthusiasm to get back into the workspace. After an extended period of isolation from their colleagues, employees were anxious to be a part of face-to-face workplace conversations 

Did something better happen while we were away and you weren’t a part of it? Perhaps you missed an important meeting, a retreat, an office party, or a casual gathering in the break room. Staff health and wellness was both challenged and improved. Psychologists have linked past FOMO to the high that keeps us coming back to social media: an addictive, dopamine-seeking behavior in similar fashion, this information-seeking behavior induces a high cognitive load in the form of information overload, that impacts our daily productivity.  

Today in the workplace, there is a different form of office anxiety, A.K.A Opportunity FOMO.  Driven by a fear of missing career advancements, or a professional development path leaves employees questioning and doubting current working elements in the workspace.  Opportunity FOMO is another form of  negative impact on performance when one’s sense of job security and workplace happiness is affected.  A sort of Imposter Syndrome develops, causing some employees to fear they might be seen as unqualified for a particular role, or don’t truly deserve the status they have achieved.  Living in constant fear of being discovered as a fraud creates a whole new level of discontent. 

Rather than be a victim to your worst fears, actively work to turn your FOMO to JOMO a.k.a. JOY of missing out. You can actively manage that disruptive mental energy to experience happiness rather than anxiety. Own your feelings by converting a negative feeling into a positive.  

In summary, those five (5) suggestions Forbes authored back in December 2020 hold true: stay positive, trust your feelings, reclaim working relationships, and realize your life is just fine. 


How FOMO Is Driving People Back to the Office April 02, 2021 | By Andy Cohen 

The fear of missing out at work: Examining costs and benefits to employee health and motivation Christopher J.BudnickaArielle P.RogersbLarissa K.Barberc 

Workplace FOMO is Real, and Getting Worse By David Lavenda | Jul 20, 2016 

Five Ways To Experience Less FOMO, In And Out Of The Workplace Stacy Sherman Forbes Councils Member