After almost eighteen months of working from home, many of us are starting to return to the office. But there may be things you’ve enjoyed about working from home, so how do you adapt back?
Take it slow
When you first go back to the office, you’ll be adapting to a new routine. You may find that you’re back using public transport, or you’re dealing with rush-hour traffic again. It may also mean that you’re having to get up earlier and you’re getting back later, due to the added time of the commute. So if you’re extra tired, or you’re finding the new routine a drag, then cut yourself some slack. It will take some time to get used to things and that’s okay.
Some office workers have been told that they can gradually return to the office, or maintain a hybrid working structure. If you’re able to ease yourself back into office life, then consider doing so. There’s no rush to ‘get back to normal’.
Adapt your working space
As you return to the office, you can expect to see some changes to the old office set up. Desktop computers, for example, have probably had their day, as companies opt to provide staff with laptops that they can use to work from anywhere. This means that you won’t be anchored to the same spot each day. So make sure you work with what you’ve got; utilise Office Screens by working behind them, so you can maintain a sense of solitude when you need it. You could also try and use side office rooms when they become available. or even work from your local coffee shop occasionally.
Make sure you feel comfortable
If you don’t feel concerned about heading back to the office, then think about the precautions you can take. You may want to have antibacterial wipes on your desk and hand sanitiser in your drawer. Or perhaps you’d feel more comfortable if you wore a mask whilst walking around the building. Do what you need to do to feel comfortable.
Take regular breaks
When you do return to the office, make sure that you take regular breaks. Step away from the computer and make a coffee, or walk over to the water cooler and have a chat with a colleague. Returning to the office will allow us to have in-person interactions with our colleagues again, so make the most of it.
Use your commute wisely
If you’re using public transport to get to the office, or you’re driving, then thing about how you use that time. Consider swinging past your favourite coffee shop on your way in and save your favourite podcast for the drive. If you enjoy your commute, it will feel like less of a chore.
Think of the perks
Going back to the office may not be something you’re relishing, but you should think about the perks of heading back. Friday-night drinks will probably become a reality again and you’ll be able to spend your lunchtimes running errands. You might even start to recieve birthday presents again; my colleagues once bought me a bottle of personalised Champagne! Whatever they may be, it’s definitely worth pinpointing some things that you’re looking forward to and then focussing on them.
Note: This is a paid collaboration.