The ongoing pandemic which came up due to the coronavirus brought a massive change in our lives. Especially for the working professionals, it got a unique concept of working from home. Meeting rooms and conference rooms shifted to online video chats, files and paper bundles changed to online docs, office desks moved to a screen in the corners of their homes, and office outings changed to multiplayer online games and whatnot. This change has been difficult at first, but these working professionals have adapted well to the concept with time. But now it’s high time to go back to normal. Due to a fall in covid cases and ease in government regulations, companies are now asking these remote workers to join as office workers. After a long work-from-home stint, employees are finally returning to the office. Victory! But now what? What should they do to get back into the swing of things?
When you have been working from home as a remote employee for a long time, it can be tough to encounter the kind of change that makes you get back into the grind of day-to-day work from the office. After all, you’re now used to being able to work whenever and wherever you want. But returning to the traditional office setting can be highly challenging. You may suddenly feel overwhelmed or excited by the sound of people talking in the hallway or the buzz of fluorescent lights. There can be many factors that can make this transaction extremely difficult. To help you overcome that, here are ten tips that can help make the transition a little bit easier.
10 Effective Tips for Returning To Office
1. Prepare for returning to the office by conducting a basic check-in with your team
You can start with a basic check-in about how everyone feels about joining back in the office. Further, you can also ask your colleagues to share some relevant information about how it will be different for them to work from the office than working from home. It will help you and your colleagues understand the efforts it will take to bring the team’s activities back on track after doing work from home. You should also see if you can be of some help, E.g., by sharing a ride with a coworker who lives on your way of commuting to the office or bringing some extra lunch for another coworker, etc.
Most importantly, it would help if you got yourself Covid tested and should also suggest it to others in your team to do the same. Doing it is highly important to avoid any possible mishappening due to the spread of the virus among your colleagues in the office. You should also ensure that you and your fellow workforce are fully vaccinated.
2. Set a first positive impression.
When returning to the office after a long remote work, it would help if you aimed to set a positive first impression and become an example that everyone tries to follow. You can start by checking your work schedule and planning your commute to be available in the office on or before time. Make sure that you are well dressed as per the official guidelines and be polite to and supportive of the other members of your team. Don’t forget to have a proper work desk setup and stay updated with all of your colleague’s tasks, as it will make collaboration easier. Beyond that, you should strictly follow the Covid-19 pandemic guidelines, including wearing masks full time, sanitizers, washing hands, etc., to ensure your safety and that of your colleagues.
3. Do not hesitate to reach out to colleagues or work buddies for support
It is common to reach your colleagues or friends at the office for help. It can help you ease back into the “normal” rhythm of work. The problems that may come between you and your return to the office can be as simple as not knowing much about the office’s location or not learning about the available modes of transport. It can also be as complex as the office is too far from your home or the company asking you to transfer to a new city.
Taking help from your friends will bring you the best and the most accessible possible solutions to effectively overcome the problems you may be facing. Your colleagues can help you with relevant information about the office location. They can give you information about the available modes of transport or even provide contacts for monthly pick n drop services. When asked to shift to a new city, the local colleagues can help you find an excellent place to live. Similarly, a helping hand from your colleagues can help you easily overcome whatever problem you may face. Therefore, you should not hesitate to reach out for help from your colleagues or friends at work.
4. Learn all there is to know about your new working environment
When returning to the office after a long work from home, you should try to learn as much as you can about the place you’ll be working at. There are a few things you should keep a particular check on:
- Take a good look at the office ergonomics
- Check for the place’s connectivity and accessibility (transport, mobile networks)
- Check what admin and support tools are available
- You should also check for the availability of necessities
- Further, check where you can have a personal and comfortable time for breaks
- See what food options are available
- At last, check for the security and safety measures in place
This information will help you settle into your “new normal” quickly.
5. Take care of yourself both mentally and physically during this transitional phase
Returning to the office can be tiring, both physically and mentally, compared to working in home comfort while being around your family. First of all, you would have eventually adapted to working from home up to an extreme level of physical comfort. Coming out of that comfort zone will undoubtedly be a considerable challenge. Mentally, you might feel a little jaded after working from home for so long without much stress and pressure. Therefore, you need to take care of your mental and physical health when returning to the office. There are a few things you can do in this case:
- Find time for regular breaks
- Exercise regularly
- Eat well (healthy snacks included!)
- Get plenty of sleep when back home
- In short, take care of your body and mind so that you can return to work feeling refreshed, invigorated, and focused
6. Be adaptable
It is important to remember that working from the office won’t be the same as working from home. The organization will expect you to be more engaged, productive, focused, and “professional.” To achieve an effective transition from working from home to returning to the office, you will have to adapt to the new expectations you’ll face after your return. E.g., if something unexpected crops up during your first days back at work (perhaps an urgent project that you need to complete), don’t hesitate to take on additional duties or tasks until the work has been done. It will help you perform better in your new role and help prevent conflict or delays that would otherwise have occurred. In short, being adaptable will be crucial to your success as you return to work.
7. Become the one who brings joy to the workplace
When you’re returning to the office after working from home for a long time, you should try to become the one who brings joy to the workplace. This means being more social and engaging with your colleagues. It would help if you tried to be more upbeat and avoid coming across as hostile or resentful. It may seem like a difficult task, but it is doable. Here are a few tips on how to become the office’s ray of sunshine:
> Be social and friendly. It’s important to greet your coworkers in the morning and have a conversation with them throughout the day. Try not to keep to yourself in your cubicle all day long. Also, try to show compassion to your coworkers as they may be facing some serious problems due to the transition.
> Bring in treats. Everyone loves food, so bring in your favorite snacks or treats to share with your colleagues, and it will help make everyone happy and more likely to want to work together.
> Be upbeat. When something difficult comes up in the office, try not to let it get you down. Instead, be positive and give your fellow workers some encouragement. After all, they’re there for a reason – so show them some appreciation!
8. Reach out for professional help if needed
If you find that your stress levels are creeping up, reach out for a consultation with a professional who can offer guidance on managing stress in the workplace. It will help you avoid burnout and the development of other mood disorders. Your workplace is a place to seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed, so don’t hesitate to take this route to prevent mental health issues such as depression.
Maybe you’re having trouble getting back into the swing of things and feel overwhelmed by all the work you need to do. Or perhaps you’re just struggling to get out of your pajamas and back into your work clothes. If you’re facing problems returning to the office after a long work from home, it’s best to seek professional help. An experienced therapist can help you understand why you’re struggling and give you the tools and advice to return to work successfully.
9. Keep in mind that it is natural to experience some anxiety
Returning to the office after a long time of working from home can be difficult. You may feel anxious about how your colleagues will perceive you or if you will be able to get back into the groove of things. It is important to remember that it is natural to experience some anxiety after returning to the office. Everyone adjusts in their way, and there is no correct way to do things. Just take things one step at a time and be patient with yourself.
10. Finally, take some time to reflect on the big picture
There are a lot of potential challenges that come with transitioning back to the office after working from home for a long time. Maybe you’re struggling to focus on your work after being so used to taking breaks whenever you feel like it. Or perhaps you’re having trouble getting accustomed to the new social dynamics in the office now that you’re back. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remember that these challenges are only temporary.
You’ll eventually get used to being back in the office by taking some time to reflect on the bigger picture. It may include relooking at your career goals and dealing with lingering fears or frustrations. Don’t get discouraged if things take a while to get back on track. Just keep going, and don’t forget that you’re not in this alone.
To conclude, it’s essential to take the first steps back into the (traditional) office setting after working remotely for a long time. While it might feel intimidating at first, remember that it’s not as bad as you think. Remember that you’re not alone and that there are people who understand what you’re going through. Reach out to colleagues for support, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help when needed! And finally, don’t forget to reflect on the big picture and how this transition can bring massive growth in your professional life. By following these ten tips outlined in this blog post, you’ll be on your way to a triumphant return.