5 Ways to Make Return to Office Easier After Covid Restrictions End
For the past year and a bit, most of us have been doing everything from home. We have been attending events from home through Zoom, schooling our children from home, and of course, working from home.
With the easing of restrictions and vaccination rates going up, for many, fully remote work is likely to come to an end. Employers are starting to reopen their offices and calling their employees back to their desks.
This can be a stressful transition, even for those who look forward to returning to the office. Fortunately, there are ways to make this transition easier.
1. Start Waking Up Earlier
This first tip is simple, but it may not cross your mind until your first day back at work when you have to wake up at 6:00 am instead of 8:45 am like you have been for the past year. Going back to the office means no more working in your PJ’s and getting back to the commute.
Try waking up earlier at least a few days before going in to ease your way back into the routine. This will set you up for a positive first day back.
To make it easier in the morning, lay out your first day’s outfit the night before.
2. Focus on the Positive
If you are not feeling enthusiastic about the return to office work, all of the negatives might be what initially comes to mind. However, there are always positive aspects to every situation. Try to focus on what you will gain from going back to the office. This may include:
- Rebuilding social connections
- Fewer distractions
- Clearer boundary between work and home life
Focusing on the good that may come from heading back to the office will help you mentally prepare for what to expect.
3. Manage Expectations
Do not expect to walk into the office and have perfect return to office guidelines in place. As much as you might not think it, going back to the office isn’t just difficult for the employees, it is also a transition for your employer. A lot has changed since you have been in the office, and your employer is also adapting to these changes.
By managing your expectations with patience and flexibility, you prevent yourself from stressing out over the inevitable. Things might be one way this week, and then the company may decide that they should be different the next. Expect some trial and error to happen on the part of your employer as they try and figure out the best plan for their employees.
4. Communicate With Your Team Members
Know that you are not alone in your struggle to return to the office. Your coworkers are most likely feeling the same anxieties and stress that you are.
Communicating with your team before your first day back will help all of you establish an understanding of expectations and ease your minds.
You may be able to accommodate one another, as well as come up with a game plan to make sure that everyone is comfortable and able to excel. If you have a great team, they may even get you excited for your return to the office!
5. Don’t Forget Your Mental Health
Covid-19 was tough on everyone, and it isn’t reasonable to expect you to be able to jump straight back into a routine right away.
Make sure that you monitor your mental health both before you return to the office and while you are back at work. The anxiety you feel before your first day may disappear as everything begins to feel familiar.
If after a couple of weeks you still find it tough to manage, consider partaking in activities that help manage stress, such as working out or taking a walk at lunch.
The return to the office isn’t going to be easy, but if you prepare beforehand, it may not stress you out as much as you may anticipate it would. You may even welcome once again having an excuse to leave your house and have in-person interactions!