With all social distancing measures lifted in England, more and more employers are now requiring their staff to return to work in a semi-regular format. Some of you may already be going in two to three times a week or, on the flipside, be gearing up for your first visit back to your workplace in around eighteen months. Either way, most elements of office life — from your colleagues’ personal boundaries to how you process collaborative work — are likely to be different to how you remember or expect. From easy sleep hacks to mental health tips and meal prep ideas to managing your workspace, we’ve assembled six tips to help you manage your return to your workplace below.
Go to Sleep Earlier
To give yourself a welcome head start, make sure you hit the hay at a reasonable time the night before you’re due to head back to your workplace. When the day rolls around, you’ll feel more rested, less stressed and ready for whatever your day will bring. That you’ll be more amicable to your colleagues is a welcome bonus.
Work Looks Different
Chances are, your office will look a little different to when you left in early 2020. There will likely be various social distancing measures in place — fewer people in meeting rooms and alternating available desks, for example — to keep you and your colleagues feeling safe.
We’ve all been going at different paces over the past 18 months and some people are less comfortable returning to the “new normal” than others. With that in mind, be sure to show a little more caution when it comes to interacting with your colleagues. For example, shaking hands or hugging your colleagues may be out of bounds for a while.
Mix Up Your Commute
If you don’t feel ready to be on a bus, train or underground carriage just yet, mix up your commute by running, cycling or walking your journey. Even if it’s half or part of the distance, you’ll be getting active, upping your steps and avoiding a situation that could make you (or your colleagues) a little nervous, all while getting some much-needed fresh air.
Keep Yourself Fuelled
Returning to the office can be both physically and mentally straining, so make sure that you’re keeping yourself fuelled appropriately. Whether that’s regular water breaks or keeping yourself pepped-up with a coffee and a croissant, your brain will need food to keep functioning properly.
Remember, You’re Not Alone
No matter how you’re feeling, others will be sharing the same concerns when it comes to returning to the workplace and feeling out of your comfort zone. Sharing how you feel and coming up with an action plan will help to keep you level-headed, motivated and working well.