Some companies stand by their commitment to have employees work remotely until the United States achieves herd immunity. Other companies have already started welcoming employees back to the office. Some people never left the office, save for the initial months of the pandemic. If you are just about to head back to the office, though, you may need a few pointers to ease your transition back into office life.
Being back in the office is going to feel different. People have been working from home for over a year, isolated in their own worlds. There are those who thrive in solitude and productivity skyrockets, but many people prefer an office setting. Not to mention, leaving the house and separating work life from home life can help improve mental health.
Returning to the office is inevitable and we cannot live in fear for the rest of our days. Some offices may implement safety rules, such as mask wearing and mandatory temperature checks upon entry. Please understand that each workplace environment will handle the return to office life differently. In case you feel like you need a few tips to coach you back into succeeding in the office, we’ve got you covered. After you read this article, there’s no chance of you showing up to work in pajamas with your pet.
Communication Is Essential
Communication is an essential part of any successful business, but now more than ever as people return to the office. Employers will more than likely hold active discussions about the return to office life. The idea is to inform everyone of new safety protocols to ensure that everyone remains healthy and safe. If you feel that fellow coworkers or managers fail to implement proper safety measures, consider communicating those concerns to them. Additionally, don’t be shy about approaching coworkers to voice your concerns. Keep in mind that we are all emerging from strange times and it may take a couple months for the transition to feel normal.
Ease Your Way In
Normally, our suggestion is to dive in the deep end headfirst, but this is different. Wade into the waters if office life slowly. Going from working remotely to 100% office work will be jarring and potentially overwhelming. If you are uncomfortable with transitioning to full-time office work, ask your employer if you can gradually transition to office life. You may even need to be at home for a couple days a week, depending on children’s schedules. This goes back to communication! Working from home one or two days per week may help you transition to 100% office work more smoothly.
Focus On The Positives
A lot of people enjoyed working from home, simply because they had everything they needed, when they needed it. Working in pajamas from the bed was a thing! That model of work is slightly different than sitting at a desk and dressing up, but there’s no need to view that as negative. If you have a constant negative outlook about returning to the office, the transition will be horrendous. Try to focus on the positives in your new office schedule. Perhaps you have a new manager who engages with everyone in a creative and encouraging way. One topic of focus could be accountability. Many people struggled to work from and it was hard to complete projects with them. Being back in the office can encourage that communal effort that could not happen in your own home. Plus, the office life may even make you more accountable and ahead of schedule!
Limit Your Distractions
For some people, one of the attractions of remote work was limited distractions. There were no ringing phones, workplace conversations, loud typing, or general office chaos. As you head back to the office, it may be difficult to find a healthy workflow. This is perfectly acceptable in the initial transition. If you have the luxury of an office door, shut it if you need to so that you can focus on producing quality work that’s free of distractions. If you don’t have your own office, consider purchasing noise-cancelling headphones so you can block external noise. This may be the key to improving focus in the office.