For some, the days of working from home are on the way out or becoming less frequent as more people get vaccinated. If this includes you, then you know how exciting it is to see your favorite coworkers again and collaborate in person. And while you may have certain concerns about going back into the office, the best thing you can do is plan ahead, and make sure you’re aware of any new workplace policies related to masks, schedules, quarantining, and workspace configuration.
Make the transition back to work as easy as possible by following these tips:
Spruce Up Your Workspace
If you haven’t been in the office since March 2020, it’s worth noting that things at your desk may have gotten a little, well, dusty. Bring in some disinfectant wipes, dust off those desk items, and show your workspace a little love. After you clean up your workspace, consider adding any items that will provide a sense of comfort, whether that’s some new framed photos, a plant, seat cushion, blanket, or maybe even a diffuser.
Do a Test Run
If possible, try working in the office for a day or two before everyone else makes their return. This will give you a chance to adjust, and will also give you an idea of commute times. Public transit times may have changed over the last year, so it’s important to time your morning accordingly. If you’re driving, leave earlier than usual just to be safe. Pro tip: queue up some new podcasts, audiobooks, or playlists to add some entertainment and stress relief to your morning!
Dress the Part
It may be time to retire those sweatpants. If your work-from-home attire isn’t exactly appropriate for the office, start dressing the part before you head back to ease the transition. Now also may be a good time to treat yourself to new work clothes that will help you get back into the routine of things. Plus, who doesn’t love a shopping spree?
Whether you’ve used the extra time in the mornings to work out or sleep in, you’ll need to readjust your routine to account for your commute. Establish a sleep schedule that gets you your recommended 6-8 hours, and try out those earlier alarms in the days leading up to your first day back.
Prepare Your Pets
If you have a pet, it’s most likely gotten used to having you around. Help them adjust to your return to work by leaving the home more frequently and for longer periods of time. The goal is to get them into a routine that closely resembles your pre-pandemic lifestyle.
Don’t Forget Your New Habits
Life at home has certainly put a lot into perspective. Perhaps you started exercising regularly or picked up a new cooking hobby. Maybe you joined a virtual book club or learned how to knit. Regardless of what you’ve added to your routine, make it a priority to continue taking time for yourself. And while you adjust, be patient with yourself and others as you make the return back to the “new” new normal.