Over a year ago, organizations shut down and employees worldwide suddenly had to pack up their offices and work 100% remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, as the vaccine is being distributed, and precautions have been put in place, many organizations are optimistically looking to safely bring employees back to the office and adjusting to our “new normal”.
While the transition last year to work from home was a challenge for many who had never done it before, the transition back to the office full-time will certainly be an adjustment as well. Employees are now used to working from home and are accustomed to the flexibility it brings.
Although for many employees it will be difficult to switch gears and go back to working in the office full-time, there are numerous benefits to working in the office and having the ability to collaborate in person with colleagues. With enough planning, you can help ease the transition and enjoy moving forward in the post-pandemic workplace.
Repurpose your in-home office space
If you are fully back in the office and you no longer need a desk or dedicated area to work at home, reclaim the space you have been using for work. Add pictures, flowers, decorations, or create a workstation for a new hobby. Create a space that brings you joy and that will help you decompress after work.
Plan for earlier mornings
One of the perks of working from home is that you are able to sleep a little longer in the morning due to not commuting. Once you are back in the office, you will need to build time into your morning for your commute, which means starting your day earlier. You can adjust for this over time by waking up 15 minutes earlier every day for a week so, that it does not affect your sleep schedule as much when you do start back up in the office.
Re-familiarize yourself with your surroundings
If you had favorite places to eat or drink when you were in the office and you feel comfortable doing so, revisit those places. Going to restaurants or places where you have fond (pre-pandemic) memories will help to increase the excitement of going back into the office. An added benefit is that you will be supporting local businesses.
Enjoy your commute
Although the morning commute will be longer than it was from your bed to your kitchen or home office, your commute can still be enjoyable! Create a playlist or download podcasts if you are driving, or, if you are taking public transportation, dedicate that time to unwinding and recharging.
Get dressed up
If you have been working from home in sweatpants and a t-shirt, try on your work clothes prior to the day before you return into the office; plan out coordinated outfits in your closet to make getting dressed easier and faster. Going back to work looking professional again will make you feel good.
Plan for childcare
One of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility of having your kids at home at the same time as you, especially if they were remotely learning for school. It is important to plan ahead and talk to family, friends, neighbors, and babysitters to have a game plan for how you will delegate childcare once you are back in the office.
Employees across the country who are returning to work will face new challenges and adjustments. However, making sure that you are prepared for the transition will put you in a better position (mentally and physically) to be successful at work.
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