Back in the Habit: Returning to the Office

Depending on where this newsletter finds you, you may or may not be back to your pre-Covid work routine.  From state to state, mandates and guidelines have affected each of us differently, but without a doubt, many employees will soon find themselves returning to working from an office.  These returns may be staged or staggered in the beginning or companies may jump right back to full time on-site staffing.  In whatever situation you find yourself, here are a few tips to ease the transition from working remotely to in-person.

Start the adjustment now.  Once you have received notice that your employer intends to return workers to the office, begin making small adjustments to your work-from-home routine to mimic your normal commuting habits.  This may include rising earlier, eating breakfast or exercising as you would before heading to the office.  Be sure to communicate any concerns with your supervisor so any issues can be addressed before the target return date.  Any proactive steps can lessen the shock of a complete upheaval in your routine.

Manage your expectations.  This is a unique situation for everyone involved, including your supervisor and your company’s leadership.  Adopting a flexible mindset can minimize any frustrations that may arise from changing corporate guidelines and protocols.  Keep communication open with your superiors, but also be patient to allow for any kinks to be ironed out during the transition period.

Respect your co-workers boundaries.  Everyone has had a different experience over the past year.  Some have been deeply and personally affected by this pandemic while others may have only noticed a small disruption in their daily life.  Opinions are many and varied over what has transpired within our country and probably within your company, but we can each move forward with mutual respect between us.  Some co-workers may feel comfortable socializing in close contact while others may not, but we must value the contribution of each team member equally, and allow for individual liberties to make all feel comfortable.  

Coming together again may elicit a range of emotions, and transitions can be difficult at the best of times.  However, if everyone can strive to remain thoughtful throughout the transition, any anxiety present may dissipate once we start moving toward a new and exciting ‘normal’ in our everyday office environment. 


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