Workplace

5 Tips For Returning To The Office

By: Mariah Rogers
Jun 7, 2021 • 5 min read

5 Tips For Returning To The Office After Working From Home!

While some companies have committed to working from home for the long run, others are eager to get their employees back to the office ASAP! There are definitely benefits to both working in-person and remotely. On one hand, working from home offers a great opportunity for flexibility and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. On the other hand, in-person work can help employees foster close relationships and engage in real-time conversation. If you are returning to the office after a year of working from your couch, here are a few tips to help you through it!

returning to the office

1. No, Everything Won’t Just Go “Back To Normal”

A lot can happen in a year. Especially when a global Pandemic is involved! Don’t expect to return to the same desk you always sat at, feeling like everything is back to normal. There will be many adjustments your team will have to make as employees transition back to in-person work. Policy updates such as sick days, mask-wearing, or social distancing might be implemented as you make your long-anticipated return.

Your team dynamic might change, too. It’s been a year since you’ve all seen each other in person, and many of us have developed new quirks, talents, and challenges. Your work BFF might turn into a distant co-worker, while the employee you hired remotely starts to become your go-to. Prepare yourself for these changes, and don’t be so hard on yourself if things don’t seem to be the same as they were last March.

2. It Might Be Challenging To Stay Focused

Having the ability to take frequent breaks is a big perk of the work-from-home lifestyle. Coffee breaks, lunch chats, and quick dog walks became part of our everyday routines. Being back in the office for a full 8 hours every day might feel natural at first, and it might be hard to focus. Don’t beat yourself up about it! This is a time of transition, and you’re certainly not alone. Talk to a coworker or trusted friend about your concerns. We are all in this together! Here are some tips that might help:

  • Bringing WFH tools into the office that help you feel at home.
  • Incorporating Athflow into your wardrobe.
  • Talk to your boss about taking smaller breaks throughout the day instead of one long lunch break.

returning to the office

3. It Might Feel Unnatural to Be In a Crowded Building

After working solo for so long, staying distant from family and friends, and shopping in nearly empty grocery stores, going back into a crowded office building might feel a little unusual. Again, this is all part of transitioning to the “new normal”. There are a few things you can do to help yourself feel a little more safe and comfortable!

  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and other illnesses. 
  • Wear a mask and bring PPE to work if your company does not provide it.
  • Communicate to others that you prefer to continue practicing social distancing while at work.

4. You Might Feel Rushed

Another perk about working from home is that you can complete projects on your own time. This means waking up early to put the finishing touches on a deliverable or staying up late trying to solve a challenging problem with some reality TV playing in the background. Now, you might feel more rushed as colleagues watch you complete projects, and your boss is back over your shoulder.

Feel free to advocate for yourself and your new work style! If you prefer a more private environment, talk to your boss about office accommodations. Or, you can bring up the conversation of a flexible work style if you want to ease back into working in person. This is not an easy time for anyone, and you deserve to have the accommodations you need in order to be successful.

returning to the office

5. Meeting New People Might Be Hard

It’s been a year of having to rely on a close circle of friends and family for support and entertainment. So, your social skills might be a little rusty! Again, this is completely normal and nothing to be self-conscious about. Meeting new colleagues or clients might feel weird at first, but you will feel more comfortable as time goes on. In the meantime, as a manager or coworker to assist you with client meetings or large group events. Relying on someone you trust to help you navigate these situations is what being on a team is all about!

What are your top tips for returning to the office? Tweet us and let us know!

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