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Tips To Help Your Transition Back To In-Office Work Smoother

This post is sponsored by Prima, Elohim Company, GerdLi, Quipli, EZ Newswire, Bullion Shark, O POSITIV, and Fast Pace Health.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations and employees alike to rapidly adapt to a new way of working. For many, this has meant shifting to remote work full-time. But as more organizations implement a return to the office, employees may find themselves needing to readjust yet again.

If you’re one of those employees who will be transitioning back to an office setting, here are some common tips to help make the process go smoother.

Be Patient with Yourself

It’s important to remember that everyone is experiencing this pandemic differently and that there is no right or wrong way to feel about returning to the office. If you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed about the transition, give yourself time to adjust and be patient with the process.

“It’s important to set realistic expectations for you and your team,” says Annie Ricci, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Prima. “Some people may feel more comfortable coming back to the office than others, so allow for flexibility in the return-to-work plans.”

You might try setting some personal goals for the first week or two back in the office, such as getting reacquainted with your commute or taking a break from work to walk around the block during lunchtime. And don’t forget to give yourself credit for making it through one of the most challenging times in recent history!

Set a Schedule

If you’ve been working from home, chances are your schedule has become a bit more relaxed than it was pre-pandemic. When you return to the office, it can be helpful to set a new routine to help you ease into things.

“Setting a regular schedule is key for transitioning back to working in the office,” says Annu Daniel, CEO of Elohim Company . “Waking up and getting ready for work at the same time every day, as well as sticking to your usual lunch and coffee break times, can help set up a routine.”

It’s understandable if you need to adjust your schedule as you get used to being back in the office—and that’s OK! Just be sure to communicate any changes with your team, so everyone is on the same page.

Tips To Help Your Transition Back To In-Office Work Go Smoother
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Take Breaks

When you’re used to working from home, it can be easy to forget to take breaks or step away from your desk during the day. But when you’re back in the office, it’s important to make time for yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

“It’s helpful to schedule breaks throughout the day, even if you don’t feel like you need them,” says Dr. Minhas, Founder and CEO of GerdLi. “Bring in a few personal items, like photos and plants, to make your space feel more like home.”

Reminding yourself of your old routines—or creating new ones—can help you feel more comfortable as you transition back to working in the office.

Connect with Co-Workers

If you’ve been working remotely, chances are you haven’t seen your co-workers in person for quite some time. When you return to the office, take some time to catch up with your colleagues and see how they’re doing.

“Make sure to schedule coffee or lunch dates with your co-workers on your first few days back in the office,” says Kyle Clements, CEO of Quipli. “It’s great to reconnect with them and hear about what they have been up to.”

You might be surprised at the difference it makes to take a moment to chat with your co-workers—it can help you feel more connected to your workplace and make the transition back to the office a little bit easier.

Create a Transition Plan

If you can, sit down with your supervisor or HR representative and create a transition plan that outlines what returning to the office will look like for you. This plan should address your specific concerns and needs and help put your mind at ease.

“Some companies give the option to work from home two days a week until workers feel comfortable coming in full-time,” says Neel Shah, Founder of EZ Newswire. “That can really help ease the transition and make people feel more prepared for what is to come.”

If you’re feeling anxious about returning to the office, ask if there’s anything your company can do to help you feel more comfortable. You might be surprised at how understanding and accommodating they can be.

In fact, most companies are committed to working together to make the transition back to the office as smooth as possible for everyone involved.

Andrew Adamo, Vice President of Bullion Shark adds, “Decide from the outset to be as flexible as possible with your employees. Understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, and you want to do whatever you can to help.”

Communicate with Your Manager

If you have any concerns or questions about returning to the office, be sure to communicate with your manager ahead of time. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your return to the office is as smooth as possible.

Not everyone is going to feel comfortable returning to the office right away. What’s an easy adjustment for you might be more difficult for someone else.

“Some companies still have a large number of employees who are working remotely, and that’s OK,” says Brianna Bitton, Co-Founder of O POSITIV. “We’re all dealing with this pandemic in our own way, and it’s good to understand that some people need more time than others to feel comfortable coming back to the office.”

If you’re not ready to return to the office, talk to your boss and see if there’s any way you can continue working remotely for a little while longer. In many cases, your company will be understanding and accommodating.

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

If you’re feeling anxious or stressed about returning to the office, don’t be afraid to speak up. There’s no shame in admitting that you’re not ready to return and that you need more time.

“Be really honest with your boss about how you are feeling,” says Justin Olson, Chief Marketing Officer at Fast Pace Health. “If needed, tell them you might not be ready to come back to the office yet and that you may need more time. Some bosses can be really understanding, and you might be able to work out a plan that works for both of you.”

If you’re not ready to return to the office, the worst thing you can do is try to tough it out.

Seek Help if You Need It

If you’re struggling to cope with the anxiety and stress of returning to the office, don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. Whether it’s pandemic-related is beside the point. If you’re struggling, there’s no shame in reaching out for help.

Are you afraid that returning to an office environment will trigger your anxiety or worsen your symptoms? If so, it might be a good idea to seek help from a mental health professional before making the transition.

Conclusion

No one knows how they’re going to react to the pandemic and the changes it has brought about. The good news is that there are things you can do to ease your anxiety and make the transition back to the office easier. 

Talk to your boss, be honest about your feelings, and don’t hesitate to seek help if you need it. With a little planning and preparation, you can make the transition back to the office smoother and less stressful.

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