Many of us have been working from home for quite a while – whether that’s throughout the latest lockdown or the entirety of the pandemic – it can still feel like forever. The thought of going back into the office may seem too good to be true by now, but for some of us, we can’t shake the feelings of anxiety and generally not knowing what to expect. Being in lockdown can make you feel isolated, and most of us haven’t seen our friends and family for months, let alone our work colleagues (video meetings don’t count)! The only real-life interaction we’ve had throughout our home working days has been with the postman, so it’s no surprise that making the move back into a busy office, surrounded by people will feel a little strange.
These uncertain feelings are completely normal, and no doubt that after a few weeks or so, the office will feel the same as it once did and we will settle right back in. As we start to get ready to go back into the office, we want to feel prepared. Feeling ready may help curb those anxious feelings and make you feel more settled. Read our helpful guide to help you transition back into office life:
Monitor your feelings
Pay attention to work-related anxiety. You may feel inclined to hide it when back in the workplace, but that may lead to consequences, in yourself and your performance. Speak to your boss or HR if you have worries. They’ll be able to accommodate and you may find that others are feeling the same as you.
Manage your expectations
You may feel tired soon after returning to the office. It’s important to make sure that you don’t burn out. Going to the office is going to have an effect on your physical energy. The shake-up of your new routine, the commute and the social aspect are all going to take a toll on your energy levels. Try and give yourself some rest time in the evenings and weekends during the first few weeks of your return. You want to stay on top of your game.
Make a plan
To-do lists are already a key part of the usual workday. Once you have a confirmed return date then make yourself a more detailed plan for your first week or two back. Having an idea of what you’ll be doing each day when you’re back in the office will be a good reminder that you’re doing the same job as you’ve been doing remotely. You should also feel better prepared for the initial reappearance.
Being reunited with your favourite coworkers, the coffees and your favourite lunch spot! It will be a change from working alone at home but you’ll be going back to all of the things you love, and it’s the first step back to normality.
Remember to remind yourself that you will just be doing everything you’ve been doing at home. You know how to do your job you’re just changing your surroundings. You can do it!