At the start of the pandemic, many professionals began working from home full-time. They’ve continued to do so for around two years, giving most of them a chance to get comfortable with the arrangement. However, a significant number of companies want to get employees back in the office, and many employers are already moving forward with re-opening plans.
For many professionals, the idea of heading back to the office is a bit anxiety-inducing. Fortunately, there are ways to ease your concerns and make sure you’re ready to adjust to life back in the office. Here are eight tips that can help.
1. Start Practicing Your Morning Routine
If heading back to the office is part of the plan, but it hasn’t started just yet, take advantage of the advanced notice and being practicing your morning routine. Get up each day as if you were heading into the office, handling all of the tasks you need to tackle. That way, you can refamiliarize yourself with the process – including the timing – ensuring you’re ready.
2. Re-Evaluate Your Schedule
When you start going to the office each workday, it impacts your schedule. The return of your commute means you’re spending time on an activity that you didn’t have to do with telecommuting. Depending on how long it takes, it can affect the rhythm of your day dramatically. As a result, you’ll want to take a look at your schedule to see if adjustments are necessary.
3. Discuss Boundaries
While working from home, the line between your personal and professional life likely blurred. As a result, it’s wise to speak with your manager about expectations when you return to the office, allowing you to agree on new boundaries for when you’re off the clock.
4. Find Ways to Deal with Sensory Overload
When you’re working from home, you’re in an environment you largely control. Once you’re back in the office, the hustle and bustle may be distracting or overwhelming. As a result, you’ll want to come up with options for avoiding sensory overload, particularly if you have detail-oriented work.
For example, you may want to speak with your manager about using headphones to block out extraneous noise. Stepping away from your desk and heading outside during breaks may also help.
5. Be Kind When Socializing
Socializing in person may seem odd for professionals who haven’t engaged with their colleagues face-to-face in years. In some cases, the interactions might even be a bit awkward, mainly because everyone is out of practice. Since everyone’s in the same boat, be kind and compassionate with yourself and others along the way, and don’t be afraid to take it slow.
6. Give People Space
Everyone is going to feel a bit differently about the health risks associated with returning to the office. As a result, it’s best to give everyone space initially. Maintain six feet of separation and don’t move to initiate any physical contact without asking if the other person is comfortable. Additionally, if you aren’t ready to start shaking hands just yet, let the other person know.
7. Embrace Self-Care
Returning to the office may take some getting used to, potentially making it a source of anxiety. By embracing self-care, you can focus on your well-being, ensuring you feel mentally, emotionally, and physically capable as you continue forward.
8. Have a Supply of PPE
While many companies are providing some personal protective equipment (PPE), having your own supply might make you feel more comfortable. Consider bringing cleaning wipes, spare masks, and hand sanitizer, ensuring you have everything you need to maintain your workspace and protect your health.
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If you’d like to learn more about how you can adjust to life back in the office, the team at Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us today.